The world has become a dreadfully scary place. The world for most of us living in China being our social media. Gone are the days when you would get on your phone and scroll through Instagram to double tap on a cute puppy post or go on Facebook to wish that long lost cousin Happy Birthday. Instead what we see is the world going up in flames. There is so much pain on every post, so much torture to tap like on a picture showing black people being mistreated, beaten and the final kicker; being killed. People are outraged and rightfully so. It’s as if so much has changed yet nothing has. Our forefathers marched and protested years ago yet in 2020 we have to be doing the same thing. We have to be convincing the powers that be that we have a right to be here, that we are human, that we hurt, that we feel.
As a people we have been suffering for so long we are perpetually in survival mode. We have to constantly have our guards up. Our antennas are always on high alert anticipating an attack. This is no way to live. Emotionally and mentally it saps us of our energy and our zeal for life. So how do we deal with that? How do we get our fight back? We do that by taking care of ourselves first. The old adage rings true here that you cannot pour from an empty cup.
On an airplane they tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before you can help others so below are some tips on how to put on your oxygen mask figuratively.
Show yaself some love!:
-Light a candle: Males this goes for you too, candles can be used for purposes other than seduction.
-Get dressed up for no reason: You look good, you feel good
-Smile and hold it for 30 seconds: I promise you that this works, you’ll feel like a goofball but that’s the point
-Write a love letter to yourself: Remind yourself that though the world is falling a part you’re still whole and awesome
-Get some sleep: Please do not go into hibernation haha moderation is key
-Eat healthy and take your vitamins: Less meat and more fruits and vegetables- studies shows that eating greens makes you happier
-Listen to music: Who doesn’t love a good play-list?
-Take a bath: for those lucky enough to have a bath in China, but for the ones without just spend an extra 10 minutes and allow the steam to abate the anxiety and angst.
-engage in positive self-talk: Remind yourself that you’re amazing no matter what the media is saying
– ask for help: This is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to a friend or even a complete stranger. Feel free to message the BLC account if you’d like to speak to someone.
By doing the above you will feel much better about yourself which will then be translated to those around you. Life is not all about unicorns and sunshine but during the stormy days we have to find some glimmer of hope to hang on to. We have to find something to bring us back into the light, our rainbow; and that takes work and deliberate efforts.
I remember scrolling through my Instagram and watching a video of a woman being shot in the face during the protests. I felt as if they had shot me. I let out a blood curdling scream and threw down my phone but the ones who had done the deed were so unmoved. They were oblivious to the palpable anguish around them. I felt so defeated. But it was during that moment, while laying in the dark of my room and listening to my laboured breaths that I decided that I would rise. And I truly believe that so too will we as a people. While it is good to be informed and remain connected, it is not worth it at the expense of our mental health. We deserve to be at our highest self and subscribing to the negativity, though it is reality will not get us there. Be knowledgeable about what is happening but do not allow it to consume you. There has to be a balance.
– Take a hiatus from social media. Instead of scrolling start scribbling. Journal your thoughts. Write action plans about the change you wish to see and how you can be a part of it.
– Meditate and/or pray. Our greatest ideas and breakthroughs come to us during moments of stillness. Use this time to draw closer to the higher power that you believe in and to harness the power that you have within you.
-Practice yoga or exercise. Whether you prefer something relaxing or more exerting on the body, they are both incredibly beneficial to our mental health.
-Read books. Whatever you can get your hand on…read it, learn and become better.
I don’t mean the latter in a sinister way but if there is one thing we know the powers that be respond to is money. For us to truly instigate change as a people, we have to unite and let our money do the talking. We need more doctors so they can’t try to kill us with their vaccines. We need more journalists so that the truth can be shared. We need more lawyers so that our people can have someone in their corner. We need more judges so that we can have a fair trial. We need more TV hosts so that we can control our own narrative. We need more politicians, more business owners, more real estate developers, more actors, more teachers, more of everything. We need to take up space. We are a people filled with so much gifts and talents and it’s time we mobilize and monetize.
That is how we change this world. We heal from past traumas, we take care of ourselves, we take care of those around us and we Boss up! Your Black Self Matters!
The solutions above represent immediately actionable tips that we can all incorporate. A more in-depth discussion around further ways to proceed will be held on Monday 8th of June between 7 and 9pm also – to join, scan the QR code below. The event is brought to you by Black Women in Beijing with the support of Black Livity China