I logged onto Facebook tonight to see that yet another unarmed black man was gunned down by police officers. Of course with this news breaking comes several other posts. These posts usually include the dash-cam, body cam, or bystander video. Most of us will inevitably watch and become filled with rage at seeing yet another unarmed black man killed. The biggest sting of it all is seeing countless examples of non-black suspects who are shooting at police, waving guns at police, even yelling “shoot me” to police and are apprehended without incident. Then, you’ll have the “all lives matter” crew swooping in with “well if they just complied”, “the officers feared for their lives”, “what about black on black crime?!?” At times it can be overwhelming and exhausting and can leave you in a terrible mental space that can consume you.
How To Cope
- If you haven’t already, don’t watch the videos.I know sometimes there are videos that are shared and play automatically and articles you read that share every detail about the video but you do NOT have to watch it. I know, it’s tempting, and I watch every video posted. But if you are someone who knows watching the video will exhaust and consume you, don’t do it.
- Log Off It’s simple. In the first few hours or days it’s going to be what everyone is talking about. If this is too much for you, take a break from Facebook and Twitter for a couple of hours or a few days.
- Clear your friends’ list. This may be hard for some people. It can really hurt to find out some of your high school classmates who you once considered friends are closeted. You start to wonder how you were able to see and talk to them every day and not know they held such terrible views about your race. You then go back to all of the times they jokingly said “nigga.” Or that time they told a not-funny-and-terribly-offensive black joke. And you probably awkwardly laughed instead of correcting them. This probably makes you angrier than you were before. I pretty much got rid of all these “friends” around the Trayvon case. But just in case you have some lingering around. DELETE DELETE DELETE!
- Don’t engage trolls.It’s tempting to go back in forth in the comment section of certain threads. It’s also easy to get caught up replying to a troll on Twitter. DON’T. I know, I know, I’ve had my fair share of back and forths with Twitter trolls but in the end, you just end up angrier and more exhausted. They’ll still have their opposing views and opinions while you’re even angrier.
- Do something that makes your heart smile. This can be working out, taking a nap, watching a movie, or coloring. Whatever it is, give yourself a mental break and do it! It will allow you to blow off steam, gather your mind and thoughts, and feel a little bit better than you did before.
Do whatever you can to protect your mental health. Always and forever. Have any other helpful tips? Leave them in the comment section below!