Coping With Emotional Trauma
Updated: Jun 4, 2020
I love being a Black woman. I love that I come from a Black family and I am raising two beautiful, Black boys alongside my Black husband. I would not trade in my Blackness for anything.
And yet, I am exhausted. We are all exhausted. The emotional weight that we carry from having to continuously witness the sanctioned murders of our Black bodies is soul crushing. I still can’t find the right words to accurately describe the pain. The fear. The sadness. Grieving the loss of our sisters and brothers at the hands of white supremacy is devastatingly difficult.
One thing that I have learned, however, is that we must make an intentional effort to protect our spirit so our pain does not become paralyzing. While it may not come easy, self-care is vital to staying whole - especially during times of emotional trauma.
Recognizing this, I wanted to offer a few tips that provide some guidance on how to best protect your energy and help begin the journey towards healing:
1. Pause and Release Your Emotions: Allow yourself to acknowledge and feel every emotion without quilt or shame. Meditate and just breathe.
2. Affirm your Greatness: Black is Beautiful! Remind yourself that we come from a bloodline of Kings and Queens. We are more than worthy.
3. Reach Out and Check-In: Call your loved ones and lean into your Tribe. Ask for support and share stories. They likely also need you as much as you need them.
4. Seek Professional Help. Find a therapist, doctor or health professional to make sure you are supporting your entire mental well-being. Trained professionals can help you in important ways beyond the support of your close network.
5. Move Your Body. When you exercise, endorphins are released that help stimulate feelings of pleasure and help reduce pain. Try yoga, dancing or any physical activity that brings you JOY. 6. Mobilize and Get Empowered. Use your voice, time and dollars to support organizations committed to bringing about social change. Since we launched our company, BROWN GIRL jane has always made the commitment to supporting organizations that support the wellness of women of color. This month, we will be making a donation to Until Freedom, an organization of activists and lawyers fighting injustice within our community. 7. VOTE! Take your frustration and anger to the ballot box. It is your constitutional right and change will only happen if you participate in it. Maya Angelou said, “ You may encounter many defeats, but you must not ever be defeated”. And so, let’s all reach into our toolkit and pull out the things we need to help take care of ourselves and continue to do the work.
I won't pretend to know all the answers - but, I do believe that we won’t be defeated and I find comfort in remembering the strength of our ancestors, who are still protecting and guiding us to this day. Because after more than 400 years, we are still here. Still beautiful. Still strong. Perhaps that is what makes us Magic.