3 Self-Care Tips for the Woke and Troubled

original post: 07/11/16, edited and reposted: 08/31/17

Once again, violence has struck the world in such horrid and unfair circumstances. #altonsterling #phiandocastile #dallas. Lives have been lost, and in the aftermath there is an overflow of brooding anger and pain. Those who are "woke and troubled" have the burden of feeling the implications of these shootings with the expectations from society and their jobs to go on as if it hasn't happened. On top of that, some have to explain time and time again why the #blacklivesmatter movement is relevant. It's frustrating. It's exhausting. This being said, more than ever, self-care is crucial. Forgetting to take care of your mind and soul, forgetting to process the jumble of emotions, and forgetting your needs are not mentally healthy. So here are THREE simple tips to make sure you check yourself before you wreck yourself.

  1. Process, process, process. After the bombardment of ugly things in the news, what do you do to make sure you're okay? Especially if you already deal with generalized anxiety or depression, the current events add more and more weight. In order to move on (this doesn't mean that you forget or ignore your voice especially if you consider yourself to be an advocate for social justice), you need to process how you feel. Some examples of processing: type out your genuine ramblings in a word document that only you have access to, talk to friends who you know for a fact you can trust and who are as woke as you, collage, journal, draw it out, or fill out this cute and simple worksheet online via flygirlblog.com. The list goes on and on, and you can do what fits your personality and lifestyle.
  2. Mindful disconnection. It is so hard to ignore the endless stream of articles on your newsfeed, the news coverage, and even your friends' PokemonGo updates. Like I said before, the more information you're consuming about the current events the more "ugh" feelings you have to process. It's great to be educated, but realize that it comes at a cost. You're allowed to have mental breaks. Instead of shutting off from social media completely, you can be mindful of what your mind is consuming. For instance, you could tell yourself that you're going to go on Facebook only to talk to certain people and not pay attention to your newsfeed. Or if you have really good self-control, you could scroll through your newsfeed and only click on positive links. Or maybe even take an hour long Netflix or reading break. But remember it's all about moderation; you don't want to completely shut off and go on a binge.
  3. Release energy. This past week has riled up a lot of anger and sadness in me. This blood-boiling energy needs to be released somehow, and you can do so in physical ways. It goes hand-in-hand with the release of the emotional and mental energy (processing). Some examples could be to take a walk, do some yoga, go on a run, shake what yo mamma gave you (dance), swim, etc. Just like it's healthy to process your feelings, it's just as healthy to release the fired up energy you have inside of you in ways that your body will benefit.

Here is my step 1 in collage form:

materials: mixed media journal, ban.do sticker, fine tip sharpie, magazine clippings

Black. Lives. Matter.