Black Health Matters / Mind & Body  / #BlackLivesMatter


9 ways to cope mentally with racial injustice

It seems that everywhere we turn, we see blatant miscarriages of justice when it comes to the devaluation of black lives. From Freddie Gray to  Eric Garner to Michael Brown to Marissa Alexander, it’s clear that the justice system doesn’t work in our favor—and this all can have a toll on our mental health. Here are some tips to cope.

It’s OK to cry. Coping doesn’t mean you cannot display any emotion. What we have witnessed is traumatic and crying is a healthy way to address stress and sadness. So go ahead and let it out.
Pray or meditate. Try praying for strength and clarity. Meditationcan also make you feel more focused and more in tune with yourself and your feelings. Not to mention, putting something up to the universe can make you feel better.
Talk it out. Talking to your friends and family—and even a therapist—can do wonders for your mental health. Sharing your feelings about how angry and sad you are can be extremely cathartic. Please don’t suffer in silence.
Don’t engage bigots in their nonsense. Self-care is really important when coping with issues like this. One way to protect yourself is not to engage with people who are bigoted or refuse to see our plight as a problem. Let people know that you are not interested in talking and keep it moving. Same applies with social media.
Speak out! Organize in your community or join local activist groups to see how you can join them. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines.
Give back. Volunteering, helping others and giving back to your community can give you a new lease on life and make you feel like you are making a difference to the world.
Unplug. No more news, no more Facebook and no more talking about it for a little bit. Find the other things in life that can make you happy. Being informed is important, but sometimes you might need to walk away from media.
Get your sweat on. Exercise is an amazing way to deal with stress and negativity. By working out, you are also releasing endorphins, feel-good hormones, that can help you feel a lot better. So whether it’s yoga, Zumba or taking a run, make sure to pay attention to your physical health in times like these.
Love yourself and others more. The most radical thing we can do in times like these is to unconditionally love ourselves and each other. We can never allow for the devaluing of our lives to stop us from seeing our greatness, value and infinite potential.
For more tips to handle racial injustice, go to BET.

Photo: Depositphotos

Kellee Terrell