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Doctor’s Orders: Check In On Your Mental Health

African American woman meditating on the beach doing yoga

In the midst of a global pandemic and social unrest, taking time to maintain your mental health may be the last item on your to-do list. However, it’s time to check-in on your mental health.

Are you participating in racial justice reform protests, watching the news on repeat or scrolling on social media? At a time like this, if you’re consuming information, participating in conversations or showing up at demonstrations, the emotional drain could be taking a toll on your mental well-being.

By no means does this imply you should give up hope or tune out. In fact, you shouldn’t do that at all. This article is simply a resource for you to use when you need to take a breather. After all, you can’t engage, grow or fight for change without being strong physically, emotionally and mentally.

4 Ways to Check-In on Your Mental Health and Re-Center

There are a multitude of ways you can check-in on your mental health and re-center. Here are just a few to get you started:

  1. Unplug from social media and the news: If you’ve been consuming updates from social media or your news has been on in the background non-stop, take a break. Unplug for a period of time each day to prevent becoming overly stressed, desensitized, or perpetually angry or desensitized.
  2. Meditate for a few moments alone each day: Nothing says re-center and re-focus like meditation. Set time aside to cast your thoughts aside and focus on your breathing and the silence around you.
  3. Pump up the volume on your favorite music: In the famous words of Bob Marley, “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” Music is one of the greatest forms of therapy, so turn up your favorite playlist and dance your worries away.
  4. Get in a good workout: Exercising increases the levels of endorphins in your body, which are natural mood lifters. Go for a brisk walk or pull out your yoga mat, you’ll be surprised how much better you feel when you’re done!

6 Mental Health Resources for People of Color

While it’s important to prioritize mental health, especially in communities of color every day of the year, it’s especially important right now. Don’t let stigmas around seeking professional therapy (which tends to get more complicated in marginalized communities) keep you from speaking with someone in the professional space about your feelings. An outside perspective can help you learn how to cope and heal.

If you’re struggling with your mental health, just remember you’re not alone and help is available. Here are six mental health resources if you need some extra support right now:

  1. Therapy for Black Girls - too often the stigma around mental health prevents black women from being seen, heard and understood. This safe space was created to help black women feel comfortable finding, locating and learning about mental health resources.
  2. Inclusive Therapists - a safer, simpler way for marginalized populations to find the culturally responsive mental health support they need.
  3. The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation - created out of a need to eradicate the stigma around mental health issues in the African American community through awareness, support and professional resources.
  4. Black Therapy Love - an app created to connect the Black community battling with the stigma of therapy, trauma, anxiety and stressors with therapists that look like them.
  5. Liberate - a meditation app created “by us, for us.” Explore meditations and talks designed for the BIPOC experience.
  6. The Safe Place - a Minority Mental Health App geared towards the Black Community.

The truth of the matter is, mental health challenges disproportionately affect communities of color. But the good news is there are many resources at your fingertips. Invest time in self-help strategies, explore online resources and seek professional help as needed. 

For other information, education and resources on how to stay on top of your overall wellness or to support ongoing initiatives, check back on The Glow-Up Guide often.