How to protect your mental health in the fight against racism

The fight for racial equality isn’t going to be over any time soon, so people who are personally impacted by racism need to develop strategies to cope with the psychological impact on a long-term basis. In times when you may feel out of control, it is important to think about and identify areas where you have control.

Recognise and attend to your emotions

Allow yourself to feel the way you do.

Be compassionate and look after yourself

Talk to yourself compassionately and acknowledge the challenges and the pain of the current situation.

Think about how you want to engage in the fight against racism

You may want to protest, but there are lots of different ways you can make a difference without putting yourself or others at harm – especially during a pandemic of a highly contagious infection.

You can educate yourself about the different aspects of racism and it's history in a way that can feel connective and empowering. Understanding the issue from a historical point of view is important as well as from the point of view from contemporary authors who write on the topic of racism.

You can use social media to keep abreast of the issues and stay connected with people. However, it is important that you feel in control of your social media engagement, and not controlled by it. You can take regular news and social media breaks.

Be mindful of the negative messages about racism and racial violence

Think about ways you can challenge the negative messages which link to the positive aspects of being black and racial diversity. You can speak to people you trust about racism and how it has, and impacting you. Having your experience recognised and validated by another can help you feel stronger and more resilient.

Seek help

You can speak to a professional about racism and how it has, and is impacting you.

There are a range of black and asian therapists who specialist in intercultural therapy in the Black and Asian Therapy Network. Need support? Contact the Samaritans For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email or go to the Samaritans website

Original Article: The Metro 02/06/20

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