Even though it’s 2023, being a minority still comes with its challenges. To this day, minority groups are faced with a unique set of challenges.
A BIPOC may face harassment, discrimination, and bias day in and day out just based on the color of their skin – something they have no control over and should not matter in today’s world.
This negative attitude, behavior, and judgment towards them can bring on trauma, which can stay with a person for years to come.
This is how you can deal with trauma as a BIPOC.
Allow Yourself to Feel
If you’re feeling a certain way, allow yourself to actually feel that way. The longer you try to dismiss how you’re actually feeling or push those feelings aside, the longer you’ll feel this way. If you’ve experienced trauma, there is absolutely no shame in that. The sooner you admit and acknowledge what happened and how you’re feeling, the sooner you can start to heal from it.
Doing self-care may seem a little selfish at a time like this, but it’s actually not. Self-care is never selfish. In fact, it’s what helps to make sure that you’re overall mental health and wellness are both stable and healthy. Plus, you have to make sure you’re taking care of yourself before you can help others. You can’t expect to fill someone else’s cup if yours is completely empty, right?
Make sure you’re fueling your body properly. This means eating between 3-5 healthy and well-balanced meals throughout the day. Avoid drugs, alcohol, and excess amounts of caffeine or sugar. Drink enough water. And you should be aiming for at least eight hours of sleep each night.
Limit Your News Access
You don’t have to cut out the news completely. It’s where you get a lot of information about what’s happening in the world and in your local area. But you may want to consider limiting the amount of news you’re taking in. The media has a way of focusing on more negative news stories than positive ones.
If you’re sitting in front of your television or reading this negative news on your laptop or phone all day long, it can be a lot. Your mood may start to change, and it may even bring on feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. Try to set time limits where you can look at the news during a certain time of the day or for a certain period of time to limit the negativity you’re taking in.
Step Up and Support a Cause
After you’ve taken care of yourself, you can figure out how you can spend some time being part of the change. Donate money to a supporting cause. Join a peaceful protest. You can even use your social media platforms to spread awareness about what’s going on in the world. Share resources. You don’t have to sit back and do nothing just because something isn’t impacting you directly. Find ways to get out there and support the cause you want to fight for.
Seek Additional Support
If you’re struggling with trauma, you’re not expected to handle it all on your own. Asking for help is completely acceptable and even encouraged. Working with a licensed and trained mental health professional may be exactly what you need to get to the root cause of your trauma, work through the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing, and move forward in your life again. When dealing with any form of trauma, treatment is required. Don’t delay in getting the help you need and deserve. Reach out to us today to set up an initial consultation for trauma therapy.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.