Let’s face it! This year’s BLM protests couldn’t have come at a worse time.
News headlines and social media accounts continue to buzz with information on the on-going global protests while overshadowing one of the worst pandemics in recent history.
BLM protesters are not only at a high risk of contracting the COVID 19 virus, but are also victims of police brutality, racial discrimination and injustice.
Cumulatively, these social trials lead to increased mental health problems that continue to be overlooked by individuals, societies and governments. According to Forbes, the pandemic and protests are bound to have detrimental effects on the lives of most protesters.
In this article, we highlight various tips and ways that BLM protesters can leverage to maintain sound mental health. Most of these ideas are relatively straightforward, while others might require a specialist’s assistance.
Let’s get started.
1. Eat Healthy
Healthy eating offers numerous benefits to the body and mind. Food contains essential nutrients that help your body function optimally. Your diet should consist of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. A healthy eating habit also includes maintaining an eating schedule, so make sure you don’t miss out on meals.
A protester should consider drinking plenty of fluids before heading out to protest. Nutritious food also boosts your immune system and reduces anxiety. Mental health relies heavily on nutrition and the removal of toxins from the body.
2. Manage Your Anxiety
Stress and anxiety contribute to poor mental health. There are several steps to avoiding anxiety. For instance, how about switching off the TV a few hours a day and engaging in a hobby and interest instead? We may be limited because of the pandemic, but we can still read books and go on walks with the proper social distancing and masks.
Always consider connecting with a therapist, too. Whether you need the help or not, it’s best to invest in your mental health.
3. Take Time Off Social Media
Social media is an excellent way of keeping up with what’s going on around you. BLM protesters are using social media sites as a tool for creating awareness, organizing protests and maintaining public attention on their activities.
The downside is that the constant barrage of news and opinion can take a toll on you. Remember that it’s not your job to be on social media. You can take a vacation whenever you want.
Research shows that the frequent use of social media is linked to poor psychological function and mental health. So, taking a break can help you focus energy on more urgent tasks. You can also use the extra time to relax and recharge.
4. Avoid Burnout
Engaging in a stressful activity for a considerable period of time — without breaks — can easily result in burnout. Mild effects include demotivation, laziness and lack of purpose. Severe burnout cases include symptoms such as depression, suicide and associated psychological effects.
BLM protesters should take active measures to prevent burnouts from affecting their actions, decisions and overall mental health. Here are a few effective methods:
- taking constructive breaks in between complex tasks
- additional stress relief alternatives
- taking a walk, especially in nature
5. Take Time to Meditate
The aforementioned meditation dramatically improves your mental health. Meditation helps you take a break from prevailing issues, anxious thoughts, and other triggers of stress and additional mental health problems. A relaxed mind can make more conscious decisions, and often results in improved mental performance.
You can meditate at least once a day with a regular session lasting at least 30 minutes. Simply choose a relaxing spot (preferably on your balcony, back yard), sit back, close your eyes and reflect on your past, present and future actions. Some people also prefer some soft background music for a more relaxed experience.
6. Connect With Loved Ones
Humans are social beings who interact to gather ideas, relieve anxieties and balance their emotional impulses. Having friends around is great for your mental health. You can open up and talk with your peers concerning some of the issues affecting you, and possibly address solutions to some of the problems.
Although physical connections are the most ideal, an emphasis on social distancing measures probably means that such interactions cannot happen at this time. Friends can use several technologies, including Skype, Facebook, Zoom, and other online platforms to keep in touch. An old-fashioned phone also comes in handy once in a while.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs
Drugs and alcohol abuse are prevalent in today’s society, and some people use alcohol and other mind-altering substances to cope with their uncertainties and problems. Drug abuse hurts mental growth and overall health.
You should NEVER engage in alcohol and drug abuse, especially as a solution to your problems. BLM protesters should keep off any drugs and substances during the protest to prevent arrests and maintain sound mental health.
Drugs lead to addictions, health problems and other social ills that can have lasting repercussions. Besides, the effects of drugs are only temporary, and once they wear off, you might find yourself in a worse state of mind than before.
8. Seek Professional Help (If Need Be)
It is essential to acknowledge when you have a problem. Most mental issues can be resolved with the help of a qualified specialist. A visit to the therapist once or twice a month can be a significant step toward improving your mental health.
If you need professional help, make sure you open up to them entirely on what could be affecting you. That way the specialist will have all the information they need to properly advise you.
To Help Others, You Need to Take Care of Yourself First
In the wake of a pandemic and social-related protests, mental health should be everyone’s concern. A healthy mind has positive effects, but the on-going challenges continue to affect the individuals and societies negatively.
Remember, the pandemic and protests will soon end, but your mental health remains with you going forward.
If you have to take part in protests during the COVID-19 period, it’s best for you to consider your mental health and take measures to ensure you maintain sound mental health.
Download Our Free Guide to Sustainable Living.
From reducing waste to recycling and upcycling, our e-book shows simple ways to make choices you can feel good about.