In these trying times amidst a global pandemic, economic recession and the constant onslaught of violence against Black people, it is important for us to find joy and remain focused on our mental health. The media cycle is a perpetual reel of violence, depression and death, only adding to the burdens we all face in our everyday lives as Black people in the United States of America. It is times like these in which feelings of hopelessness can increase and symptoms of depression and anxiety can present themselves more readily.

In this moment existential questions like “how can the world be so cruel? Or “How am I supposed to raise Black children in a world like this? Combine with our generational and present trauma to create the perfect storm for a mental health crisis in our community. While we as a people are inherently resilient, we must remember that we are not invincible and take extra care with our mental health. Be encouraged and remember, your very existence is resistance, your love, joy and accomplishments small and big are resistances to a world that has placed every obstacle in your path. You are raising phenomenal Black children and are their biggest cheerleader, which is resistance. But even the best of us need to find time to reload, regroup and rest. Here are some tips to cope with the racial injustices, racial fatigue of combating systematic racism and a pandemic to maintain Black joy and remain mentally healthy:

1. Journaling

2. Listening to music (Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube have many BLACKJOY Playlist)

3. Exercising: walking, running, biking, yoga, dancing, etc

4. Prayer/mediation.

5. Adult coloring books

6. Reading

7. Cooking

8. Cleaning

9. Deep Breathing (apps such as calm is helpful)

10. Devoting time to a new/old hobby

11. Talking to someone that will allow you to safely and constructively process your feelings

12. FaceTime with old and new friends and family

13. Take a bath

14. Utilize essential oils to create a calming environment

15. Seek out a mental health professional

While there is much work to be done, never feel ashamed for unplugging and doing what you need to do to sustain your own mental and emotional health. Our collective future depends on it.


Charity Gunn
Parent Empowerment Coordinator