The killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and most recently George Floyd have hit the Black community one after the other.
Add to the mix COVID-19, and social unrest seen across the nation, and it becomes a pressure cooker for stress.
What You Need To Know
- It’s important to monitor your emotions and acknowledge when you’re feeling stressed
- Find a support system of people with similar experiences to talk to
- Carve out time for self-care
- Unplug for a couple of hours during the day to calm and clear the mind
Ashley Whiteside, a therapist and owner of Altruistic Ash in Albany, says the first step to balancing your mental health is acknowledging your feelings.
“Just the visceral act of seeing anyone die is a lot,” said Whiteside.
“This is a traumatic loss that the community is repeatedly suffering from over and over again,” she said. “We all feel the weight and the pressure of this world as being people of color in America.”
Those feelings have prompted many to take action, demanding social justice in their own cities. Ashley says it’s important for those people to carve out time for self-care.
“That could look like taking a nap, That could look like connecting with friends and family, that could look like journaling and taking time to be introspective,” said Whiteside.
On Friday residents and various community organizers have been protesting throughout the Capital Region, taking a day to rest and reflect.
Manetertep Eldey of the Albany House Of Peace Organization says a support network is essential to mental wellness.
“We want to make sure that we are renewing our energy and that we’re healing,” said Eldey.
“You have no idea how it feels to come amongst like-minded and like-spirited individuals and to share your stories and know that you’re not alone,” added Eldey.
Lastly, unplugging from current events for a couple of hours during your day will help calm and clear the mind.
“You’ll then be in a space where you can use that information and that fire in your belly to then go out an impact your community,” said Whiteside.