You, like me, are probably sad and angry about the events that occurred in Charlottesville and in The White House last week.
Sad and angry not only from the gathering of white supremacists and Neo-Nazis and the hateful rhetoric they spew and represent but in the pitiful lack of leadership of condemnation of these events from the highest office in the land.
This week has been a hard week for many of us.
It’s been a hard week because it’s a reminder of so many things.
A reminder that the ancient wound of racism, supremacy, and violence (in thought and in action) is wide open and still festering in this country.
A reminder that our current President does not stand (nor take a stand) firmly rooted in esteemable morals and good judgment.
A reminder that even our family, friend, and acquaintance groups may be divided in themselves about how (if at all) to respond or react to this.
This week has been a reminder of so much personal and collective pain, a reminder of so many deeply entrenched, destructive systemic issues that seem to have no solution.
You may be feeling overwhelmed and wanting to withdraw from social media, the news, even from folks in your life. This is okay…
You may be feeling righteous anger and planning to show up at counter protests or peaceful demonstrations. This is okay…
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You may be feeling compelled to act in social media conversations, to post, to write, to do something to show your stance and to influence the opinions of those around you. This is okay…
You may not know how you feel or even how or if you want to respond to anything that’s happening right now. This is okay…
What I want to say to you right now is this: We all have different responses to stress and there is no right or wrong way about how to respond or how to take care of yourself in the immediate aftermath of painful, traumatic events like Charlottesville.
So please, if you’re feeling a pressure to act or respond or be a certain way, remember to check in with yourself and see what your capacity and what your boundaries are around this.
Only you can know what’s good and right and true for you right now whether this is tuning into the news, tuning out to the news, having conversations about what’s happening in America, being on or off social media, or withdrawing and tending to your heart and soul and your small corner of the world.
To that end, because self-care is critical for us in times like these, I wanted to provide a round-up of self-care articles and resources (some of them mine from the archives, some of them from others) that you can explore for ideas about how to take care of yourself right now:
- How racism impacts our mental health: a podcast episode by Dr. Joy Harden Bradford of Therapy for Black Girls
- 101 Self-Care Suggestions When It All Feels Like Too Much.
- 4 Self-Care Tips for People of Color After Charlottesville
- 5 Self-Care Practices Black People Can Use While Coping With Trauma
- 11 small ways to feel less helpless this week, from a trained therapist.
- Feeling hopeless? A therapist explains why you might be grieving the state of our world.
- The ABC’s Of Self-Care & Sustainable Engagement Over The Next Four Years.
- 7 small things you can do right now to feel better after the 2016 election results.
And, with this being said, I think that, for many of us, along with a need for self-care there’s a dual compulsion to want to do something, anything, to help, to fix, to address the grievous wound that has been opened. And that’s a beautiful impulse. I join you in that.
And it’s sometimes hard to know how we can show up, what actions will make a difference, and where we should spend our limited time and energy. Or, quite frankly, what even we’re capable of doing right now.
So, in addition to a list of self-care articles, I also wanted to provide you with a list of actionable resources and articles that can help you assess and determine how you might like to do something and contribute and play a part in mending and healing what you can:
- 10 Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide From the Southern Poverty Law Center
- Charlottesville: How to Help
- 9 Actions For Millennials To Take After Charlottesville
- Brené Brown’s Facebook Live video on why we need to keep talking about Charlottesville.
- “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh, Ph.D.
- Here’s what you can do to take action after Charlottesville — and beyond
- Feeling hopeless after Charlottesville? 16 ways you can make a big difference.
- 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson (an old article which, sadly-ironically, popped up on my Facebook memory timeline this morning as I was writing this post)
In times like these, it’s important that we take care of ourselves, and that we take care of each other in whatever ways seem possible for each of us.
I’ve heard from a lot of people this week about their heightened anxiety levels, being retriggered because of their own histories of oppression and personal experience with family abuse, or feeling confused about how to own and look at their privilege and use it in a way that actually helps.
We are living in very challenging times plainly seeing and feeling painful, social systemic wounds that, perhaps, many of us with privilege haven’t had to confront or live with so acutely yet.
Please understand: I don’t have the answers.
Instead, I join you in the question of how to best help in the small ways I can, including continuing to own and understand my own White Privilege, taking personal action to eradicate racial injustice, and to do this as I labor in my daily life and tend to my corner of the world in Berkeley, California.
This post is less an article than it is a letter from me to you, wanting you to know that I’m in it with you, that I’m thinking of you, that I have a couple of resources that might feel helpful for you.
But most of all to let you know that we’re all in this together. I’ll keep trying to do what I can to be of support to you as these weeks, months, and years unfold.
And, until next time, please, remember to take good care of yourself.