How to Stay Sane During This News Cycle
We know these past few weeks have been triggering. We are hurting too. We witnessed yet another woman’s trauma and suffering dismissed in preference for a white man’s word and it is devastating that women’s voices continue to be devalued in our society. We are suffering over the fact that sexual assault is so easily ignored by government officials who are supposed to represent us.
We still believe Anita Hill and we believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
We want our readers to know that we hear you. We see your pain. We acknowledge your grief. Black women have been long-fighting this uphill battle against patriarchy and white supremacy and we collectively yearn for a better world.
So in these painful moments when everything seems like it is crumbling around you, it is important to remember that taking care of yourself is an act of resistance. Audre Lorde wrote in her celebrated essay collection A Burst of Light, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
So, if you plan to continue the hard work of rebuilding a system that is just and fair, we also want to share the friendly reminder to embrace caring for your health and mental wellbeing and treating yourself with loving kindness.
Need some ideas on how to give yourself some love? We’ve got some tips:
Write in a journal. Getting it all out on a page can help unload anxiety and feel like we’re releasing all of the thoughts swirling around in our minds.
Meditate. Meditating can seem intimidating or even silly, but there are many studies that show meditation helps reduce stress. We like the Headspace app or Calm. Want to learn more about meditation? Check out Upspoken’s article on why meditation is important.
Write letters to loved ones. There’s still something magical about receiving a real-life letter in the mail, especially one from a loved one telling us how much we mean to them. It’s cathartic and you’ll make someone’s day.
Get active. There’s a reason why we’ve been told so many times to get moving. That’s because it works! Walk to work, get on a bike or give yoga or try.
Unplug: It’s easy to get sucked into constantly refreshing Twitter in times of political turmoil, but this can be a toxic impulse leaving us feeling depleted and hopeless. Create technology time limits for yourself or block certain websites that you find make you feel worse, not better, after visiting. You can use this time to do device-free activities like reading books by Black women authors!
Put on a face mask. Okay, this may seem silly, but caring for ourselves in small ways like this can make us feel a whole lot better. We love this one or this one.
Set up a sanctuary. Create a place in your room, house or apartment that makes you feel calm and relaxed. Light some incense, spray some lavender or eucalyptus oil or maybe finally try out a rose quartz light.
Meet with friends. There is nothing like the love of friends and family. Vent your anger! Scream and cry. Watch a comedy movie together and laugh. Now is a great time to get to that list of people you’ve been meaning to reach out to.
Get politically active. It can feel like there’s absolutely nothing to do to make our political system better and this can make us feel small and powerless. With the midterm elections right around the corner, there are a lot of ways to be politically active. Write postcards to voters, start text banking or knock on doors.
Self-care looks different for everyone and there are so many different ways to treat ourselves with compassion. Cook a meal, visit an art museum, take the medication you always neglect, go on a bike ride, set up a hammock and read for fun, drink water, floss your teeth, take a bath. Whatever it is that makes you feel loved and well, do it. Now more than ever we need to be kind to ourselves.