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Self-Care for #BlackLivesMatter
Recently having written a piece on mental health and mindfulness for Black men “A New Way to Manage Stress” -HealthyBlackMen.Org, I wanted to also reach out an overlapping community, that means a great deal to me.
As the #BlackLivesMatter movement gains momentum, it is important that everyone who is putting themselves on the line do their best to take care of themselves. The movement is about justice, however I do not see the need for the selflessness of activist to become acts of martyrdom. My hope is that everyone will be able to see the promise land, which means that activists need to pay attention, not only to their safety out in the streets, but also to our physical and mental well-being as a whole.
Specifically, lets look at a prerequisite of activism. People take action when they are motivated by emotion. And when we talk about promoting social change from the position of the oppressed, then the emotion that we are usually speaking of is anger. This anger can be experienced as guilt, shame, sadness, pain, confusion, or tension. It can push us towards anxiety or depression, reduce our ability to control our reactions, and even cause us to spin out of control.
Copyright 2015 Bedford E. F. Palmer II, Ph. D. Visit website for more information: www.drbfpalmer.com
Dr. Bedford Palmer II is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Department at St. Mary’s College of California, and affiliate faculty member in the Clinical Psy.D. Program at the University of San Francisco. He serves as the Local Advocacy Network Chair for the Alameda County Psychological Association.