Firstly, Black lives will ALWAYS matter. Secondly, self-care matters too.
Investigating diaspora, reposting videos, looking into slave psychology, reading archived files on the origins of oppression, and having wars with people who don’t understand can take a toll on your mind, body, and soul.
We understand that you’re trying your best.
It is important that you know, you are not alone, however, it takes a strong person to move a heavy boulder, and strength is built by taking care of yourself first. We have compiled a list of tips that improve your mood and health during this time of yearning.
1. Learn What You Don’t Know
Learning to cook, reading some fiction or trying a new nail art technique are great distractions. We often find ourselves in a social media hole, getting into videos and tweets, redirected to more videos and articles. Take a moment to breathe and do something different.
2. Go Off The Grid
Putting your phone on Airplane Mode, Do Not Disturb or simply turning it off is a great way to disconnect. This allows for space to take a walk or a nap. Limiting media and news to no more than two hours a day also allows you to take a break from the current events of the world.
3. Separate Yourself From Bias
Identifying personal bias can be tricky during this time of crisis. We may favour the side of the afflicted against anybody who opposes our opinions – however, we must acknowledge our personal surroundings. Separating ourselves from bias includes the first two steps, emotionally discharging (we’ll get to that), choosing your battles and trusting your intuition.
4. Accept How You Feel
It’s not easy to accept certain facts about ourselves – especially how we feel. Understanding that you’re triggered or feeling under the weather is a step in the right direction. It hurts to feel helpless. Getting real with how you feel helps you heal.
5. Channel Your Frustration
Cry it out, scream, dance – whatever it takes. Putting on your favourite song, playing a game, or journaling your thoughts are all ways to emotionally discharge. Once you have accepted how you feel, purging it from your system clears your mind. Who knows – some of your best creative expression could come from this.
Moving your body has been known to improve circulation and moods. Doing a little yoga, squats or push-ups improves your mood by stimulating your brain in parts that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Exercise can give you a boost and can be especially helpful in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.
7. Celebrate Blackness
There are plenty of black artists and creatives that are worth celebrating. Getting into some comedy, poetry, sitcoms, podcasts and films can offer you a sense of relief from stress. Sit back, relax and laugh a little.
Some personal recommendations of podcasts you can check out include:
- The Receipts Podcast
- Rhymeshe Podcast
- Rice At Home
- The Adzvice Podcast
- 3 Shots Of Tequila
- Meet Us After 7
- The Untitled Podcast
- Yellow Cup Podcast
- 90s Baby Show
- Black Gals Livin’
8. Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries is a very important measure to take when practicing self-care. Boundaries with yourself, understanding your limits, knowing how much you can take – is a gentle reminder that you matter. This allows us to conserve our emotional energy.
9. Take A Bath
You may be leading a busy life. Detoxing physically and mentally by taking a bath has immune-boosting benefits, especially if you have essential oils or bath salts dissolved in the water. Take this time for yourself. Burn a bit of incense if that’s your thing. Improve your overall well-being and nurture yourself before taking the world on again.
10. Affirmations That You Actually Believe In
Rather than trying to convince yourself that you’re strong, powerful, and able when you don’t feel that way, self-affirmation encourages you to think positively about the important things in your life that you’ve already got going on. Reminding yourself that you are alive, that you are safe, and that you’ve done all you can for the moment matters more than you know.
Understand this – you will not be okay every single day, but cherish the days that you are and know that taking care of yourself when you aren’t is perfectly normal. You can do all that you do for others, but remember that you need to do all that you can for yourself too. Take care, with love.
Black Minds Matter is providing black people in the UK with FREE therapy with professional black therapists.
Check them out here: https://www.blackmindsmatteruk.com