Donald Trump has barely been President of the United States for three weeks, but I can’t be the only one who feels like it’s already been an entire year, right? He’s been doing so many horrible things, from instituting a controversial “Muslim Ban,” to threatening to send in the Feds to fix Chicago’s violence, to reducing any news source that doesn’t blindly sing his praises to “fake news,” to acting as if Frederick Douglass is an obscure Black History Month figure (which…OMG), to talking about The Apprentice ratings at a prayer breakfast. I feel like I’m in one long episode of Black Mirror and I can’t hit pause. Countless Americans and folks around the world are concerned, but as a woman of color, I feel particularly threatened in this new, right-wing wave.
Whether it’s the threat of access to vital healthcare being taken away or the fact that white supremacists feel super emboldened these days, it’s pretty scary to be a woman of color in Trump’s America. Yes, it’s scary for many white women too! But the fact remains that a majority of white women voted for Trump and his policies that disproportionately harm non-white women; from undocumented women, to Muslim women, to black women, etc.
TIMES ARE WEIRD. THEY JUST ARE. But one of the only ways to help push through it is by being easy on yourself and finding balance between your urge to do something, and the desire to check out, chill out, and pretend the world isn’t a total garbage fire right now. So from one black woman of color to any and all of the young women of color reading this, here are eight self-care tips to help you get through these grim times.
Watch And Read About The Revolutions Of The PastI’ve been watching a bunch of documentaries lately about civil rights protests in the ‘60s, women’s liberation protests in the ‘70s, and gay rights protests in the ‘80s. While it’s a little depressing to see that we’re still fighting for so many of the issues that folks have been fighting for over the past 50 years, it’s also heartening to see the power that protest can have, and the impact that the people behind these movements made. Check out The Black Power Mixtape on Netflix if you want to learn a thing or two about black liberation movements from the '60s and '70s and covers revolutionaries like Angela Davis. Also, there's an episode of the docuseries The Seventies titled "Battle of the Sexes" which gives an interesting, comprehensive look at women's rights battles in the 1970s and highlights iconic feminist figures like Gloria Steinem. In terms of reading, look into Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde. Start from there, you'll find plenty more to explore! The Black Power Mixtape
Feel Free To UnplugSometimes I catch myself in a spiral of refreshing my Twitter feed and getting angrier and more hopeless with every passing second. Bad news, left and right. Seeing your friends write cryptic posts…even those jokey “lol we’re all gonna die” post can start to get to you after a while. Please, don’t feel guilty about unplugging for a little bit. Temporarily delete those apps you use the most. Do an activity that doesn’t involve your phone or your computer. Take a walk. Have a social media free weekend. Read a book! Please, don’t feel guilty about doing this for your own mental wellbeing. Ackee and Saltfish
Go To A Protest, It's Cathartic AFYou might think that a protest just makes you feel worse because you’ll feel super amped up about an issue that’s making you upset. But in my experience, they can really do the exact opposite. I went to a protest the day after the election, marching all the way to Trump Tower, and it felt effing amazing. It was the first time I stopped sobbing in damn near 24 hours. At protests, you can meet a lot of like minded individuals and feel less alone, which is especially important if you live in a generally conservative area. Jamie Hu
Converge With Some Fellow Friends Of ColorThis can be SO therapeutic, for real. Throw a little hang out with other WOC you’re friends with if you know enough IRL. See a movie, go grab dinner, hang out and watch something on Netflix. Whatever! If most of your friends of color are people you know online, start a group chat for commiserating over all the racist, sexist, Islamophobic BS that’s driving you crazy. It’s nice to get responses back from people who understand as opposed to just ranting to the void of social media. Some Girls
Make A Statement AestheticallyMaking a silent statement is a form of self-care for me, and it might be for you, too. Consider wearing a Black Lives Matter pin or rocking an anti-Trump shirt. You’re silently expressing your displeasure in the system and acknowledging your stake in what’s going on. Legendary Rootz @ Instagram
Unfollow A-HolesYes, it might feel good to yell at them instead. And honestly, if you’d rather just call them out, there’s nothing wrong with that (I’m pro-calling people out). But if someone’s posts are really getting under your skin, please, hit that unfollow button for your own good. Your heart doesn’t have to take it if you don’t want to. Beyonce/Lemonade
Take Care Of YourselfYo, one of the easiest ways to take care of yourself is by doing little superficial things that feel good. That might mean getting on top of that skincare routine and dealing with your zits. Maybe that means buying a really nice smelling lotion, or taking a bath with a bath bomb, or buying a new foundation. Hell, do all of that and listen to Princess Nokia or Solange at the same time. Don’t deny yourself of these little pleasures just because we’re living in a dystopian novel right now. Beyonce/Princess Nokia/"Young Girls"
Remember That You Can Make An ImpactIt’s really easy to feel hopeless and overpowered by, er, fascists and their sympathizers at a time like this. But please believe me when I say that you’re not alone. Please believe me when I say that you can make an impact for the better. You might only have a few dollars to spare, but donate to an organization that supports causes you care about. Go to a protest, because no matter what cynics say, protests WORK. And speak out when you hear oppressive BS, if you’re in a safe environment to do so. These seemingly little things really do matter. The Craft
What else are you doing to deal? Tell us in the comments!