Updated: Aug 5, 2020
“The progress of the world will call for the best that all of us have to give.” ~ Mary McLeod Bethune
Again, thank you all who have continuously read, especially with everything going on. I truly value everyone that takes the time out to read my entries! Every reader is greatly appreciated, and there is more to come!
2020 has given the globe a run for its money, I can tell you that. Our climate as a society has been tested like no other back to back. Yet, it’s not the society that I am deeply concerned about. We have been cooped inside our designated spaces for continuous months. Some of us may be without direct access to proper mental hygiene, adequate resources on aid, an actual safe space, or a simple outlet to express inner thoughts and emotions. Emotions were already running high due to this current pandemic that has plagued every continent with results that have deeply affected my beloved Black community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States noticed the trends within coronavirus cases and casualties and found that this virus has disproportionately affected the black community. According to wired.com, the black population within the state of Wisconsin is about six percent of the population, yet they are accounting for almost half of the deaths associated with COVID-19. States such as Illinois and Virginia have also seen this significant percentage of the deaths within their cities with a high population of Black people. With these facts, it is clear why a lot of the people who are Black are extremely anxious, cautious, and overall very concerned. With all of these people dying, they have now become hysterical and taking a lot of precautions to protect themselves. Not to mention, in specific areas, Black people are not tested for this virus as frequently as their white counterparts. We can recall plenty of known incidents of health care vs. Black people, to name a few: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and the Central Lunatic Asylum for the Colored Insane. Oh, of course, we always have to acknowledge the day to day and blatant misdiagnosis, neglect, and overall mistreatment that prevent people that look like me from leaving the hospital alive.
Just to make matters worse, we are in a complete socio-political war for our lives. Beginning with the unfortunate murders of Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and Ahmaud Arbery, the Black community was getting the brunt of both this and healthcare warfare. Just to top it all off with the suffocation of our fallen brother George Floyd and plenty of others from the result of such action. As a community, we have signed petitions, organizing peaceful protests and rallies, educating our youth, becoming a forefront for liberation, and more. But… truly, how are we? I can only speak for myself when I say it’s hard for me to carry on when my entire being has been questioned by the supposed world I live in. This has taken a toll on me like no other. I find myself on the verge of breaking down with simply scrolling on my social media. I am seeing story after story about people that look like me and my allies that have been beaten down, bruised, sprayed, shot, and more. I see women such as Oluwatoyin Salau (who exerted a divine power as a Black female) that held my community down and was taken away from us too soon. My mental hygiene has depleted to absolutely zero. Every day is just as hard as the other with no inkling of positivity. I am sure others can resonate and struggle with trying to see the light in this era of darkness.
The concept of mental hygiene is one’s actions that contribute to overall mental healthiness. Personal mental hygiene can include but is not limited to: sleeping, eating healthy foods, meditating, and doing yoga. Along with that, having an established sense of a social support system, purpose, and perspective contribute to overall mental hygiene. Lastly, annual checks by mental health care providers (Huh, funny right? I hate this society) also provide people with the proper resources in regards to coping mechanisms, major life crises, and related information. I truly encourage you all to take some time to realize your own state of being and see how you can contribute to better mental hygiene. We cannot advocate and liberate our community without proper care of ourselves. We need to be as strong as possible in order to continue our fight for our essence, and unfortunately, that is a daily fight.
Shameless plug lol, I do highly suggest that y’all check out my previous entry, Lime Green. It has direct links and resources for mental hygiene that is mostly geared towards the Black identity as well as a suicide hotline. Please use these as well as other outlets to take care of yourselves!
Possible Mental Hygiene Habits:
Taking social media breaks
Listening to music
Creating healing circles
Researching coping mechanisms via the internet