Looking After Your Mental Health This Black History Month
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A 2020 report on Racial Disparities in Mental Health, states that rates of depression and mental health disorders are much higher amongst Black and minority ethnic communities than white communities. We spoke to Celine from Celutions - an organisation creating solutions to the problems surrounding mental health - for her advice on how the Black community (and their allies) can look after their mental health this Black History Month. Here’s what she had to say...
It’s been an intense year for many of us. First, the coronavirus pandemic; second, racial injustice; and third; mental health struggles. It’s been heavy, but as it’s World Mental Health Day and it’s Black History Month, considering all that has happened during 2020, it’s only right I give you four simple yet super important tips to help you look after your mental health, that you can use not only this month but every day!
Monitor your social media usage
We’ve seen a lot of news regarding Black Lives Matter because of social media, but the amount you are exposed to could be doing you more harm than good. Remember, everything you take in has an impact on the way you feel whether you notice it or not. Excessive social media usage can also fuel anxiety, depression and isolation. So be mindful about how much time you spend scrolling.
Look after your physical health
Sometimes we forget that our mental health and our physical health go hand in hand, therefore neglecting one will only negatively impact the other. So:
Get moving – regular exercise is not only good for your health, but can boost your mood, energy and self-esteem.
Eat healthier – be mindful about what you put into your body, make sure there’s a balance!
Finally, sleep – we all know how important it is to get enough rest, please prioritise it.
Spend time with loved ones
As humans, we crave social connection. This helps us feel fulfilled. It’s really important to find ways to stay connected with others so that we don’t become isolated and lonely. Why not call up a friend after reading this? Also, ask for help if you need it, even if it feels hard to - get support from friends or family where you can. Black people have been negatively impacted by both racism and coronavirus and it’s important that you surround yourself with people that can both relate to you and support you if you need it.
Take each day as it comes
Being kinder to yourself allows you to control the amount of pressure you feel in different situations. It’s been a difficult time for a lot of people, so don’t be so hard on yourself if you’re struggling. Instead, focus on daily acts of self-care and giving yourself the space to manage your mental health properly. There are many online resources that can also help you. For example, over on our site, there are loads of pages explaining mental health issues and giving you tips that you can use to help yourself if you are experiencing any difficulties. You can also check out The Black, African and Asian Therapy Network if you’d like to find a therapist.
Remember, looking after your mental health is an everyday thing, but if you’ve been neglecting it, it’s never too late to start! For more tips on protecting your mental health check out @CelutionsUK.