For the past few weeks, I’ve been saying to myself, “I can’t wait until the election is over. I am tired of talking about Donald Trump.”
But whether we want to believe it or not, Donald Trump, a man we deemed unqualified for the position, will soon be the leader of the Free World. That sentence alone is enough to send many of us into a deep funk and a dark depression.
Before we can even begin to think about next steps, we have to remember to take care of ourselves and each other. Here’s how we can begin finding the strength to build.
Call In Black
Do you have personal days? Vacation days? Sick days? Now is the time to use them. The great thing about using your time off at work is that your employer doesn’t have to know why you need a break. You may not be able to take off a full week but whatever you have available, take a day off. Your mental health is important.
Unplug from social media
There are millions of people sharing their thoughts and ideas on every single aspect of the election. Some of the information shared will be factual, some of it will be opinion based, and some of it will be ignorant. We consume so much from social media that we can tweet, post and share ourselves into a mental jail, which can lead to issues with anxiety and depression. The election cycle has played out on social media above and beyond what we expected. Give yourself a break and get off the Internet for a while.
Listen To Music
Kendrick Lamar‘s “Alright.” Beyonce or Solange. As Black people, music hasn’t just been a form of self-expression, it’s also been a saving grace. In times of confusion or turmoil, I know that I can put on anything by Anita Baker and eventually feel somewhat better. I even like to listen to these audio affirmations for an extra boost.
Create a safe space for your loved ones
You have every right to be mad, upset, furious, frustrated and any other feeling today. This morning in my group text with my mom, brother, and niece, I was able to drop one curse word and my mom let it slide. While that was a small slice of the real reaction I gave my friend earlier that morning, it felt good to know that I could be human around the people who love me the most.
Someone in your life needs that space today.
There are many of us who may have to go to a job where we’re either the only Black person or one of very few. They’ll need your good energy to press forward.
Give yourself permission to laugh
Coming to America is my go-to. It’s an instant classic and even though I can quote every other link word for word, it still makes me feel good. It’s quite okay to experience joy – we deserve it. Pull up clips of Def Comedy Jam or your favorite comedy classic to break through the tension.
Volunteer your time
It’s incredible what giving back to those who are less fortunate than us can do. While the entire world seems to be consumed with our government right now, we have to remember that there are those around us who are so bogged down by their circumstances that they can’t even take into account the impact of this election. Find a shelter or an organization to serve – it’s a great reminder that there’s more work to be done.