I’m Prioritizing My Health this Election
I’ve been struggle to prioritize my mental health since the last presidential election. I have always been super outspoken about my feelings around the current state of things and the Clown-in-Chief. It wasn’t until the first debate that I realized how much this election year weighs on me. Much like the night of the last election, I went to bed last week so angry that a country built on the backs of BLACK people could elect such a vile man.
The thought that he could be re-elected for another four years has weighed so heavy on my heart that I’ve been going to sleep and waking up angry, anxious, and honestly scared. Scared that the president of the USA can open his mouth and instead of denouncing a white supremacy group, he tells racists to “stand back and stand by.” What does that mean? I’ll tell you. It means that I don’t get to feel safe in my community; that I doubt the motivations of this presidency to protect me and my Black family; that, while we have so much change to celebrate today, the history of racial injustice still rings true in our lives. We need to start prioritizing our Black lives and Black mental health.
When President Barack Obama—my president, my representative, my choice—took office, I felt such a sense of pride. It was more than his Blackness, though. Barack Obama’s intelligence and his elegance amazed me. Although this current election is stressing me out, I am grateful to see the first Black woman vice presidential candidate since Charlotta Bass.
Kamala Harris sat on live American television yesterday as the first Black woman to sit in her seat, constantly reminded that this seat was never meant for people like her. But the best of thing about it, is that she showed up “hair done, nails done, everything did” and ready. This election is significant in so many ways. First, we are basically fighting for our freedoms and second, there is a candidate who looks like us on the ticket. But none of this is making it any easier to get through. So what can we do to prioritize our mental health?
How Can You Start Prioritizing Black Mental Health?
MANTRA—Find your mantra and speak it often. Mine is “Do what you can and accept the things you cannot control.”
DONATE—Donate in any way you can to organizations that help; your time is a valuable donation too.
ADVOCATE—Speak up to the degree that you can. Don’t exhaust your energy trying to argue with people who don’t respect you. You shouldn’t have to convince anyone that you are a person. Don’t let anyone silence or interrupt you. Channel Kamala: “I’m speaking.”
UNPLUG—Turning off the news, staying away from social media and especially social media comments can be the best way to preserve your energy. You can set limits for yourself, whether it’s daily limits, weekly limits, or a full month social media hiatus.
PRAY—Stay prayed up and if your emotions are too intense, don’t stay up to watch the winner on Election Day. These activities can impact your mental health, your body, and your emotions so easily and unexpectedly. Sometimes it’s better to catch the replays in the morning after the dust settles.
V O T E—Most importantly, vote and get your friends and family to the polls early. I need to feel like I have some power in this injustice and this is the best way I know how to do that. You matter, we matter. Prioritizing Black mental health starts with prioritizing our voices.