If you’re a person of color, it’s very likely that you’ve seen an uptick in the amount of time you’ve had to spend discussing racial issues with people. The race issue is never far from our thoughts and conversations under normal circumstances, but these conversations, and the mental and emotional labor that goes with it, have increased exponentially since 2014.
Whether you’re in the streets, on Twitter, in the classroom, or facilitating this discussion in some other way, it’s very likely that you’ve walked away feeling exhausted and triggered.
We must take care of ourselves, lest we compound the emotional toll that it takes to exist in this black and brown skin.
Self-care for people of color during these racially tumultuous times:
• Find a hobby or preoccupation that isn’t directly linked to the Race Discussion. Its critical for you to have an outlet that isn’t directly tied to this conversation.
• Cultivate safe space. I have several people and online spaces that I turn to that allow me to vent, process, and recharge when this conversation gets difficult.
• Set boundaries. Not every person or situation is at liberty to make demands on your energy and headspace. It’s not your job to educate every ignorant person. Set limits on who can make demands on your emotional and intellectual labor. Avoid comments sections. Tell people that you are not going to engage in debate, mute, or unfollow people who make a habit of being insensitive.
• Log off or fully disconnect. Whenever I know that rhetoric is going to be at it’s peak or when the ignorance of people in my various circles is going to be on full display, I log off. I don’t allow myself to be subjected to things that will only serve to hurt and frustrate me more.
• Pray, meditate, reflect. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace, and in times of tumult I can go to Him in prayer and he will give me His peace. Take time to focus, reflect, and cultivate a sense of peace in your life.