Black people in America are in a constant state of trauma. The realities of everyday racist microaggressions, to the neverending stream of police shootings of unarmed black folk, to the spiritual damage of slavery, Jim Crow, and beyond.
For many black Americans and other Americans of color, Donald Trump’s election on Tuesday feels like a stab in the gut, a reminder that despite the bubbles of progressiveness that we live in, a wide swath of the nation does not believe we matter.
In the face of this kind of despair, self-care is important, now more than ever. We need to find community and safe spaces to mourn and mobilize. We need to fiercely protect our mental health and take care of our bodies. We need to find the proper tools to heal.
Below are some tips, links, and resources for practicing self-care in the wake of Trump’s election:
1. Buy something empowering from a black-owned store in your community or online, like Philadelphia Print Works.
This black-owned clothing company celebrates DIY culture and activism within the black community. They sell custom print-screened clothing with activist messages, including a “School of Thought” collection which features the names of overlooked black thinkers and leaders on traditional collegiate-style sweatshirts.You may be feeling helpless, but treating yourself with something affirming and also supporting other black people can help. Here are 45 more black-owned online businesses to check out.
2. Donate or Volunteer.
Hate hasn’t won yet. There are still things we can do at the ground level to empower ourselves. These can be gestures as small as signing a petition, or donating and volunteering at organizations that make a positive impact on the black community, including Planned parenthood, the ACLU, the Audre Lorde Project, the The Black-Led Movement Fund and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
3. Follow these helpful steps to self-care after race-based emotional and psychological trauma, from blogger Jasmine Brown:
4. Reminisce on President Obama’s blackest moments in the White House.
Including this one:
5. Listen to empowering black music.
6. Check out the self-care website NoireCare.
This website specifically caters to black women, and acts as an online forum where they can build community and learn about how to practice daily self-care. The website periodically hosts workshops and meetups.
7. And scroll through Black Girl Mental Health.
This Tumblr blog curated by writer Diamond Sharpe is filled with tons of resources for black mental health, including hotlines, meditation exercises, interesting articles, blogs and more.
The best way to channel your negative feelings surrounding Trump’s election might be to join with other like-minded people in peaceful protest. Several websites, including Complex, have compiled growing lists of places across the United States where you can protest in the coming days.
10. If you do protest, practice these emotional and safety tips compiled by activist Adaku Utah.
11. If you have to, disengage from social media.
It’s only been a few days since Donald Trump was elected, and already news stories about people of color experiencing hate crimes and harassment from Trump supporters has emerged. Couple that with clueless Facebook acquaintances dismissing the very real and valid fears of many black people in the wake of this election, and you’ve got a toxic online landscape that it is totally OK to plug out of for the next couple days.
Obviously, this isn’t everything you can or should do to cope, but it’s a start. Be well.