Taking care of your mental health as a black woman

Taking care of your mental health as a black woman

It’s time to check in! Black women – how do you feel? Before you answer, I want you to understand that I don’t mean in reflexivity’Finally, how are you?“Sort of a way we’ve all depended on it, continuing to live through the relentless chaos of any events these weeks ‘unprecedented, once in a generation.'”Well how are you?It might be enough for most people, most of the time, but I want something deeper. I want you to do what we rarely give ourselves the time and luxury to do – and that is to look inside yourself and really explore; Open the doors, look around, look under the roof, then truly tell me.

How do you feel?

From my experience as an author, LoudspeakerCounselor and egalitarian, we seldom ask the question whose answer is hard to find, even for us. And it really isn’t a surprise. I know that for me, I’m usually too busy to get things going, and to keep going, often, if anything, I’m trying as hard as I can Not To look very far below the surface, Not To break the shell and get as far as possible from the real answer to this question.

And who can blame us? There is too much for us to not be calm.”Fine, thank you‘ Around.

How does your heart feel?

I have a heavy knowledge that the battles our parents fought, and those fought by them, have not yet been won. who – which Time after time we have to take to the streetsRaise banners and each other like us protesting brutality That black bodies are subjected to it every day, often at the hands of the police – the people we should be able to turn to for safety and protection.

People who don’t have this don’t know the pain or exhaustion of again sorting through their markers, and going in the recycling bin for a cardboard supply big enough to make else protest sign else A new name we never had to learn and say en masse, then put on their shoes, find their coats, and Take to the streets to say, “Please, I would like to be a person. I would like to be safe. is that OK with you?

Chris Kappa He must be alive today. But it is not. Because he was shot dead by the police in London. Just as we all felt it when George Floyd called his mother In the last moments of his life, Chris Kappa’s pain and loss was widely felt.

Marina PettyGetty Images

How does your body feel?

I hope you’re doing well, but chances are you’re not. a A recently published study showed that the majority of blacks in the UK experience discrimination, because of their race, by medical professionals. The Wide The majority, in fact; 75% of 18-34 year olds, and 65% of all blacks in Britain. It is amazing. However, it’s not surprising – chances are if you’re a black woman it gets worse The effect of your blackness and femininity created The hatred Even in your basic and routine experiences with access to health care, and so I doubt you’d be surprised. If anything, there may be comfort in knowing that you’re not alone, that you’re not doing anything wrong. Or maybe that makes it worse – personally, I can’t say yet.

How does your stomach feel?

Mine has been turning over, see The audience’s reaction and Meghan Markle’s reaction Over the past month or so since The death of Queen Elizabeth II and her public funeral. Comments, coverage, picking, The endless commentary often based on racism And prejudice is enough to frustrate anyone.

What is your bank account like?

Are you satisfied with getting a fair wage for your work? Most of the data available about Cross Pay Gap (The pay gap that looks at the impact of both race and gender) comes from the US, where in the UK there are only legal requirements for companies to report gender-based gaps, and even this was paused in 2020 as a result of Covid. But if we look at the US data, we can get a pretty good idea of ​​the landscape we’re in.

The gender pay gap means that American women, on average, get it Pay 82 cents on every dollar That white men get paid in the United States, and if the gap continues to shrink at its current rate, women won’t Achieving pay parity with men until 2053. But when we add race to the gender conversation, the wage gap between race and gender widens even more, to an average 58 cents on every dollar For the average black woman. there A 42% pay gap between black women and white men, And the 21% gap between black and white women, which means a black woman will need to wait (work) Until 2130 to achieve wage parity. On an individual level, over a 40-year career, losing 42 cents on every dollar actually adds up, resulting in an average career-long loss of Almost a million dollarsdue to nothing more than being black and female.

It may seem like a left turn to talk about money, but believe me, it is not. Talk about money every chance you get. Being paid fairly and on an equal footing means more than the number in your bank account or on your payment receipt. It means the opportunity to save, invest, build for the future and create the wealth of generations that so many of us have lost. This means being able to fix a car with a flat tire instead of missing a day’s work, and that means minor inconveniences don’t need to turn into major disasters. It means having the resources to leave a job, marriage, or relationship that doesn’t value you properly. It means safety and security in a world where both are hard to come by.

This means that you are evaluated, and I want you to know how valuable you really are.

Of course, we are all individuals, and we all feel things that are unique to us. And right now, those feelings are probably swirling around in a big mess. But don’t worry – we can do something about it.

Here’s how to cope if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the events of the past year:

set boundaries

In the past few years, since the world began to recognize the injustices and racism we’ve been ranting about for years, many of us have found ourselves asking a lot of questions – and we are expected to educate others around us. Experiences, anti-racism and alliance. People are curious – they have been asked to listen to the voices of black people, so they are Buying books by black authors and following black creators, but they also turn to their black friends for guidance. It means okay, most of the time, but having someone send you a picture of another dying black body, or ask you to relive your personal trauma in order to Teaching a non-black friendwhile someone without skin in the game “plays” Devil’s Advocate, is exhausting and emotionally draining.

So set limits. Tell people that you don’t want to watch videos or posts about violence perpetrated against bodies that look like yours and the people you love. Remind people that they have the same access to Google as you do – and they’re most welcome to use it to answer all their burning questions without putting the burden on you. I personally can’t count how many DMs I’ve received from strangers asking what’s the word ally Means – a much longer process than just putting the word in Google and reading the first result. And more useful, because while Google takes the time to tell you, I won’t. At least not more.

When I first started getting messages, I tried replying to each one with a personal response – which is incredibly stressful and basically means I haven’t slept for weeks. In the end, I had to understand that I simply Not possible Bearing this burden, I certainly couldn’t respond to any of the thousands of DM’s that were pouring in every day. So I stopped, and so are you.

Remind people that we are not their teachers, or their soundboards. We are really tired people and we don’t need to take the extra burden of educating them.

Sophie Williams The Black Millennium

Marina PettyGetty Images

Make way for black joy

In the wake of the last few years of Black Lives Matter protests, I’ve never seen more photos of black people in my feed and timeline. And while that sounds cool, it’s – for the most part they are either dead, dying, or fighting for their right to life.

Our summaries can become echo chambers of grief, and especially when times are tough, things never end and overwhelming, it is important to make sure that we consciously make a place for black joy. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, I remember looking at a thread black people They laugh together. Just being silly. They sing, joke and laugh. He. She. Poetry. Amazing. I realized that it had been a long time since you saw us indifferent.

Create space for dark joy in your day. every day. Your, and others. If you need a boost, I suggest trying Dearest friends Podcast for pure, silly, black friendship, or Beyoncé status Renaissance Run, loudly, and let your body move. look at me #blackjoy hashtag on Instagram, follow zipple on Instagram and say goodbye Sunday mood boards Find a home in your soul. Say your affirmations in the mirror Like the young black girl you want to protect. cheerful. Touching the grass will do you a world of good.

Find allies in the workplace

Many people over the past few years have asked me how to spark conversations with difficult bosses, or in hostile workplaces. So I always say – use your allies where possible. People hate to suggest that anything they have done is racist, or that the system they are a part of is built, and takes advantage of structural racism – as most large corporations do. They especially hate it when someone from the black or cosmopolitan majority brings it up. Their response is usually defensive, closed, or even worse to start crying, quickly reshaping you as a difficult person, or even a bully, to simply summon structures that are not designed to benefit you, or even actively hinder you. .

As seen in Many examples over the past few years Years – When people come together to raise and amplify the voices and experiences of their marginalized colleagues, it is possible to bring about real change at the highest levels.

Talk to friends at work about the problems you’re having. As we’ve seen in these past two years of waking up among marginalized non-race people, many have been blind (sometimes on purpose) to systems that uplift them while frustrating hitherto non-white people. Ask them to come to meetings with you, sign letters, stand in solidarity and push the employer to pledge to make tangible change — and keep them accountable for follow-up in the coming weeks and months.

Together we can achieve much more than we can achieve alone. Likes Rihanna said Ask your friends to opt out.


You are worth more than the sum of your output. Stereotypes likestrong black woman‘, and the growth of a culture of ups and downs means that as black women we can often feel that if we’re not producing, we’re wasting time, which can put a huge strain on our mental health. This need to always be active, wall-proof, grinding, and hustling is something I’ve unconsciously struggled with for years, and still can’t quite walk away from this today.

My advice?





you need it. We all need it. And you deserve it. strongly. Always.

For more support and information on mental health issues, visit Mind.org.uk

Upon request, Sophie’s drawings have been donated to this article Trevor Projectin recognition of their work supporting the mental health of Black LGBT youth.

#care #mental #health #black #woman

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