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13 Self-Care Tips For Black People Who Are Feeling Overwhelmed Right Now

Never forget to prioritise yourself.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share mental health self-care tips for people who are having a tough week. Here's what they said:

1. Feel your feelings – being sad or angry is understandable, so don't brush over those emotions or feel guilty for having them.

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"Acknowledge the times to sit with an emotion, as well as the times to distract from it. There are times in our lives, especially in moments like now, when we need to be present in our feelings. We need to feel anger and grief and pain. All emotions are valid."


"Getting out frustrations are excellent sources of self-care. The way someone expresses frustrations can be via journaling, talking, screaming, dancing, etc. the point is. LET IT OUT!"


"I go in the shower, scream as loud as I can, and then list three things I am grateful for. Even if I'm having a good day I scream, for joy, and the things I'm grateful for can't be the same three things on back-to-back days."


2. Connect with other black people – be it in person, over Facetime, or online.

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"Talking to other people you trust can really help get everything out."


3. And if you don't feel comfortable venting to a person, write your unfiltered feelings in a journal.

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"It's a completely safe space where you can write anything that's on your mind. You don't have to read it back, but it can help to get everything out onto a page."


4. Don't be afraid to set firm boundaries with those around you.


"Everybody is going through a whole range of emotions, but remember that you're not responsible for anyone else's feelings, nor is it your duty to educate anyone. Firmly set boundaries with anyone who oversteps or makes you feel uncomfortable."


5. Although it's important to stay informed, be conscious about your social media use. Remember that you can choose what you see on your timelines, and how much you can look.

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"I’ve been limiting the amount of time I spend on news sites and social media, as I know that I will just become angry. Maybe setting a screen limit time could be helpful for some getting sucked into bad news and just need a break."


"I deleted Twitter off my phone. People need to know that it’s okay to check out for a while to preserve your health."


6. Write, draw, sing, dance – set your creativity loose!

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"There's something about swirling on the pages and letting creativity flow that soothes me."


7. If you can, spend some time in nature.

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"Get outside into nature, in any way possible. Walk to and around your local park, visit a garden, grow plants on your window sills or balcony. Just taking some time to slow down, breathe deeply and notice the little things that go on around you. For me, it makes to the world of difference to be able to focus on something other than my own thoughts."


8. Do something nostalgic – something as simple as binge-watching an old favourite show will be familiar and comforting.


"I have a photograph of my childhood bedroom. I like to ‘go’ there in my mind. Listen to the music I listened to, read the books I used to read. I try to remember the smell of the room. I remember the warmth of the sun coming through the windows. How cosy it was to sit with my back against the radiator and toast myself whilst reading in the winter. It feels safe and bright and quiet."


9. Get into a routine, it'll create a sense of calm in your day.

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"For me, that includes just hanging in my room watching Netflix, lighting some incense, loving on my dog and then in the evening, I'll run me a bath with a bath bomb/bath salts to relax. I finish off the night with my skincare routine before laying down for the night."


10. And make sure you're still having "me" time.

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"I take a long bath and read a book. That is my 'me' time and no one is allowed to interrupt me. I wait until everyone else has showered or bathed that way no one can rush me. I can be in there hours just getting caught up in a good book which has always been an escape for me. Add some Epsom salts or bubble bath and you're good to go."


11. Indulge in your favourite black music, films, and art.

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"I use a site where you put in your favourite artists and discover who's similar to them. I spend many hours immersing myself in music which I didn't know existed. It's good for the soul."


12. Make sure you're still meeting your basic needs.

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"Anything you do to nourish/care for your body is self-care! Drink water, breathe deeply, sit down and rest, eat your favourite food, whatever you can do! Think about how you are supporting and taking care of your body, that you’re giving it what it needs and you are thankful for it."


13. Create a mental health checklist.


"If I'm in a low mood and I can't pinpoint why, I'll work my way down this list:

1) Have I drunk a glass of water recently?

2) Have I eaten a healthy meal in the past five hours?

3) Have I spoken properly with someone I love today?

4) Have I showered today?

5) Am I due to start my period?

6) Have I done something I enjoy today?

If I hit a point, I'll stop and do it, and see how I feel after. If I still don't feel a little better I'll continue down the list. You can add your own triggers and wellness points but it's a great way of turning a feeling of emptiness and helpless into something in which you can work actively towards a solution. Even if you don't find it, the act of working towards it is, in itself, empowering."


Some responses have been edited for clarity/length.

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