In March of 2020, our lives forever changed. The buzzing sound of ambivalence filled the air as we all wondered “What now?”. I had just spent the last eight months on a National Tour of Paw Patrol LIVE!, where we were touring for a whole year all over the United States, Canada, and China, and then all of a sudden, I was back at home on my mom’s couch. One day went by, then a week, then three months, and we were still asking the same question, “What now?”. Life as we know it had completely changed in the blink of an eye. We were restricted from spending time with our family and friends because we did not know what trials lay ahead. Human interaction went from being a comfort to risk. And then May 25th came.
May 25th was the restart of the millennial revolution. The murder of George Floyd by four police officers in the Minneapolis police department after repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”. The loss of Ahmaud Arbery Breonna Taylor and countless others, created a massive global outcry in protests in all fifty states and around the world in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement screaming in unison; “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!” These four words echoed through the streets as in an instant, we were confronted with the desperate need for a collective and sustainable change. This uproar encouraged conversations between races that needed to be had to show how marginalized the black American experience is in this society, and better yet, all over the world.
So the real question is; how do we cope until change happens? How do we protect ourselves mentally and spiritually as we continue to see these images of black men and women constantly on social media? With the help of hashtags, I have found a few pages that have provided me with tips on self-care – mentally, physically, and emotionally. Here are some that I recommend that I saw featured on @therapyforblackgirls :
- Take A Break From Media: The constant consumption of negative headlines can become draining. So take a step back from the noise. Even limiting checking social media one or two times a day can work wonders for your overall health even if you feel wrong for stepping away.
- Allow Yourself To Feel: Even though we have seen a lot of content in the media regarding people we do not know, it is okay to allow ourselves to mourn. The way that you feel is always valid and okay because it could have easily been our family members or someone that we do know. Don’t try to make sense of how you feel, just allow it to happen.
- Get Support: Talk to people who understand what you are going through. Call your friends or even talk to your family about what is going on in the world because you are not alone. You are never alone.
Other ways I have instilled balance in my life and to protect my space have also been through yoga and meditation, while also taking on the role of being a plant mom to my growing garden.
2020 has been a time of self-realization not only as a black collective but also as a nation and how much we have needed a change for a long time. It is also a time to reflect and has difficult conversations with our coworkers, family, friends, and neighbors So let’s take care of ourselves.
For more information on ways to cope and find healing at this time, check out @therapyforblackgirls , @thelovelandfoundation, and @blackgirlinom .