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How to Manage Emotional Discomfort in Stressful Times

 

Things have been very heavy recently due to recent events disrupting our emotional wellbeing. To name a few of the things that have been weighing on me the heaviest are the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breanna Taylor, the aggression towards Christian Cooper in Central Park, and the protests that ensued since. There is a mix of emotions swirling around: frustration, confusion, rage, depletion, and depression. These feelings are valid and might be especially intense for those of us that consider ourselves a part of Black and Brown communities. 

If you’re like me, you’ve been consumed with interviews, videos, news articles, and social media responding to these events. I’ve tried to rationalize what is going on in the world while managing my own feelings and staying connected to the feelings of those around me. During this process, here are some thoughts I have come to thus far and I share them in the hopes that they can also be helpful to you wherever you’re at.

  • You don’t need to process, respond to, or share your feelings on social media. Sometimes, there is a pressure to post, write about, and bare your emotions in a way that feels overwhelming. Action takes many forms; you can check-in on friends and family, sign petitions, and donate to organizations dedicated to creating change. 
  • A reminder that the Afro-Latinx narrative needs to be a part of the larger Latinx narrative. Many times, there is not adequate representation or visibility of those who identify as Black Latinx or Afro-Latinx in our broader community. Their experience through this time and throughout history is unique and important. As for myself, being a non-black Latina, I continue to ask myself how I can combat anti-blackness within our comunidad?
  • Let’s take the time to evaluate our level of discomfort. This feeling has passed through me several times throughout the last few days, and it makes sense—racism is uncomfortable. It stirs up lived experiences of discrimination, oppression, racism, or perhaps even privilege. It is helpful to take the time to examine where the discomfort is coming from in order to work through it.

I write this in hopes that these suggestions and thoughts could begin to create space for the whirlwind of emotions that the past week has left behind. As always, Latinx Talk Therapy is here for you, familia!

 

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