When the Black Lives Matter movement began taking shape, I was prepared to do my part and amplify Black voices. I'm passionate about this movement and I want to continue educating people on the importance of racial justice. During this time of heightened anxiety, I've found it very difficult to cope with my thoughts. I have struggled with my anxiety and depression for years and the hate that is circulating on the internet has left me feeling overstimulated. If you struggle with your mental health and feel guilty for not being able to do enough, don't feel bad for taking some time to rest.
Taking breaks is necessary for the fight for change.
A good friend of mine recently shared how much of a struggle it has been balancing out their health and everything that is going on. The problem is that you can't pour from an empty cup. As cheesy as it sounds, this has helped me understand how I should treat myself during times of uncertainty. On my bad days, when I'm feeling overstimulated, I have to put my phone down and stop scrolling. I couldn't do this on my own for a while — my boyfriend actually started encouraging me to take breaks because he knows how much the content I absorb affects me emotionally. Take a walk, listen to music, and journaling is always good.
Most importantly — be creative, do something you love.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Even when I'm not active on social media, I try my best to combat racism in every way possible and take the time to educate myself on Black experiences. I know I'm not perfect — I have deeper biases within myself that I am dedicated to addressing. It is a privilege for me to put my phone down and be able to take my mind off these issues for a bit. Taking social media breaks does not mean you are blind to the issues at hand, but that you will ultimately have the strength to keep fighting for justice. Be kind to yourself and others during this time because one way or another, everyone is exhausted.