Photo Courtesy of Julian Everett Plowden
Keith Lamont Scott, Terrence Crutcher, and Tyre King were all murdered within a week. It can be overwhelming seeing a new hashtag, breaking news story, or bloodied body laying out on the street. It’s possible to be passionate about the killings of black people while maintaining mental health.
Stay aware of the tragedies happening nationwide while keeping your composure with these points:
Withdraw from social media.
You’re not the only one that’s disturbed when graphic images and videos come across your timeline virtually every week–trust me. In fact, PBS recently reported that African Americans may experience PTSD-like symptoms as a result of the public slaying of our people. It’s hard to witness such vile media that documents how our people spent their final moments.
It’s totally fine to take a break from your social media accounts to prevent viewing traumatic media. Just because you feel uncomfortable viewing graphic media doesn’t mean that you’re less of an advocate for justice. Even if your job revolves around social media, your mental health is top priority. If you cannot find a way around it, you can follow these simple steps:
Take some advice from “A Different World”–Whitley’s therapist always told her to “relax, relate, release.”
Gather your thoughts and relax in whatever way makes you feel comfortable, whether it’s through praying, meditating, reading a book, seeing a therapist, etc. Just participate in an activity that can temporarily divert your attention.
Only consume news to the point where you still feel comfortable.
Nobody who is truly down for the cause will judge you if you’re not retweeting every picture or posting every hashtag when a tragic event occurs. You can still support the community and stand in solidarity without publicly acknowledging every tragedy. All support is not necessarily public. You can still support the community and voice your opinion through buying goods from black-owned businesses, attending town hall meetings, or donating to organizations that are working hard to eradicate injustices the black community faces. Take your time reading articles or watching videos. If you start to feel uncomfortable, come back to it later. It’s okay!
Again, it’s fine to take a break sometimes. Taking a break doesn’t make you any less of a supporter; it makes you conscious of how to properly handle your mental health. Don’t let anyone accuse you of being fake because you’re taking care of yourself. It’s possible to have a balance between being healthy as well as being socially aware. Social media can be particularly draining–especially considering how fast news can spread. Take the proper steps to ensure you’re keeping up with your mental health.
Written By: Autumn Dalton
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