Witnessing police violence and upheaval in our community is painful, especially if you carry trauma from systemic racism or your own individual experiences. You might be focusing on caring for your community, but it’s important for you to take care of yourself too.
First, don’t forget about your basic needs. Make sure you’re listening to your body and eating, drinking water, and keeping as much of a normal sleep schedule as you can. If you are in need of food, housing, or other resources, contact United Way (2-1-1) or SPPL’s social worker, Ruby, (651-300-9305).
Teen Vogue has compiled self-care resources for coping with tragic news, for youth of color grappling with racist events, and for black teens. The Steve Fund is dedicated to supporting the mental health of youth of color.
Take some time to reflect and check in with your emotions. Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective has journal prompts, coping strategies, and other educational resources.
Meditation soothes the body and helps us process emotions. Check out St. Paul’s Irreducible Grace Foundation for meditations and other self-care tools. Dr. Candice Nicole has created guided meditations for healing racial trauma and for allies. Evelyn From The Internets has a video and meditation for Black girls to cope with stressors like over-policing. If guided meditation doesn’t feel right for you, try deep breathing on your own, listening to calming music, stretching, or getting outside.
Reach out to people you trust for support. If you feel alone, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or the Crisis Text Line. The Crisis Text Line also has an option for young people of color to talk with a culturally trained counselor.
Look for ways to help your community. Joining clean-ups in your neighborhood, getting involved with organizations you admire, donating supplies if you can, or simply checking in on someone you care about helps you heal.