Whether it’s court cases that exemplify bias or unjust killings of people of color, it’s evident we are not in a post-racist society. That’s why many Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) experience higher rates of stress and anxiety due to persistent and generational racism, impacting their health and livelihoods.
Learning to manage anxiety rooted in race-related stressors can be an act of resisting oppression and living our fullest lives. Here are some anxiety management strategies for race-based anxiety.
Build a support network
Finding people who can understand and walk with you is an important piece of managing anxiety. Doing this is even more important when dealing with race-based anxiety. Finding people who will listen, lament, and move you to action can be a game-changer for your mental health. The American Psychological Association recommends looking for support groups, utilizing technology to connect with people who care about but may be far away, and connecting with people who share your same interests.
Use your voice
Your voice has power. Speaking out against acts of racism, microaggressions, or needed changes in your workplace, school, or organization can make a world of difference.
Don’t minimize the impact you can have. Find a way to give back or get involved, if you have the capacity. Change does not happen overnight, but finding a team to work with can prevent the task at hand from feeling overwhelming.
Practicing self-care allows you to spend time investing in your mental health and unwind from daily stressors. It doesn’t have to be over the top. Self-care can be as simple as taking a walk or buying your favorite snack. Doing activities that bring you joy and give you rest can be vital to your mental health and give you room to breathe and enjoy simply existing.
Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, or insured status, Valley Oaks health welcomes you to find the help you need to take care of your mental health and live your best life.