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By Genevieve Kim, MA, LMFT

Last November, I wrote about 3 ways to deal with the heightened stress during Election season. I suggested:  

1, Setting limits in watching the news
2. Unplugging from social media
3. Establishing healthy boundaries around discussing politics  

I want to acknowledge that what happened at The Capitol on January 6th, 2021, might have triggered a response to racial trauma, specifically for those who identify as POC (People of Color) or BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color). In the upcoming days and weeks, it will be especially important that you take care of yourselves during this heightened climate of anxiety, stress, anger, and fear. I’d like to offer 3 additional ways to better take care of yourself during this time. 

 3 Ways of Managing Political Stress

Along with being thoughtful about your input (what you’re watching, reading, listening to) and drawing boundaries (where necessary), consider these additional tips: 

  1. Pay attention to how you are feeling in your body. When triggered by racial trauma, we can often feel tension and tightness in our bodies. You might notice certain parts of your body lock up, needing some extra TLC. I encourage you to check out mindfulness body scan exercises found on free apps like “Insight Timer.” I recently learned about an app called “Liberate Meditation” that is Black-owned and was designed specifically with POC in mind (this may be a helpful resource). 
  2.  Another way to honor what your body might be needing is to MOVE YOUR BODY! Especially due to the dehumanization of black and brown bodies felt in the BIPOC community, one way to release the tension felt in your mind and body is to get moving. This will help you have a sense of agency rather than feeling stuck and helpless. Go for a walk/run. If you’re feeling angry and need to let it out, consider checking out kickboxing. If you’re needing something to restore some serenity, try yoga. Nowadays you can find every type of exercise under the sun on YouTube!
  3. Lastly, seek out emotionally safe spaces to help you process what you’re experiencing. Lean into those healthy relationships around you. Now is not the time to suffer in silence. (it never is for that matter!)  

How Lime Tree Counseling Can Help 

If you’re struggling to identify someone you can process with that feels emotionally safe, or you’d like support from a mental health professional, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Lime Tree Counseling. We have therapists who offer Culturally Sensitive Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Trauma Therapy and Grief Therapy. They will prioritize your wellness and care. Schedule an appointment with us today!  

Attend Lime Tree Counseling’s Virtual Groups 

If you’re interested in processing more of your experience in a confidential group setting, we will be offering an 8-week virtual group therapy for those who identify as BIPOC starting on Wednesday, March 10th from 3pm-4:15pm. Our hope is that this will be a space to find comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone, to process shared experiences, and develop a strengthened self-care plan to healthily cope whenever you’re in distress. Contact Lime Tree Counseling to register for this exciting opportunity!