Discrimination is a bitter reality that many children and adults face daily. It is a reality for several, if not all, of the children we work with, as well as members of our #drawchangefamily. We were so inspired by "COPING WITH DISCRIMINATION GUIDE: Self-care tips for discrimination-induced trauma and stress" by Dosomething.org that we decided to share the five points that impacted us the most.
We hope you will find them as constructive and eye-opening as we did and utilize them whenever faced with discrimination.
1. Disconnect (aka practicing mindful isolation)
Try to disconnect from situations that might feel triggering for you. For example, take a break from social media if all the noise is cluttering your mind instead of easing it.
2. Ask for help
Find a support group, therapist, or trusted friend to listen. Asking for help is a brave and powerful step in the coping process.
Helping someone else out can actually reduce your own stress.
4. Find or create safe spaces
Connect with people who make you feel safe and supported, and process your feelings with them. You can also help create a safe space for others to discuss their shared experiences.
5. Rechannel your rage
If you’re feeling angry, find ways to use that anger in ways that feel productive instead of destructive. Playing a sport or going on a run or taking a kickboxing class can help you direct that energy safely.
These coping strategies aid us in managing the effects of discrimination and anxiety, and we share them in hopes they can help you too. If you’re starting to feel weighed down and overwhelmed from the news, social media, or even friends, take a break, maybe create some art, and give yourself the space to clear your head.
Drawchange has seen firsthand the impact of these five points and their benefits. We encourage anyone who’s struggling with discrimination and needing an outlet to seek out volunteer opportunities. Volunteering for an organization you value can be a healthy and constructive way to engage in physical activity while helping someone else.
If you do not feel safe yet volunteering in person, you can continue to research and get involved within an organization by donating or volunteering at a later date.
Finally, take time to create a safe space. During this period of isolation, it is especially important for us to find a safe space to process our emotions. Art and other therapeutic channels are powerful venues in expressing how you feel and providing an outlet to cope with your emotions.
We hope these five tips help you cope with any discrimination you may face or help you support a friend or family member facing discrimination. Learn more about how we incorporate these five points into our curriculum and how you can volunteer with us by visiting our About Us Page.
Dosomething.org Editors. (n.d.).Coping with discrimination guide: Self-care tips for discrimination-induced trauma and stress. Dosomething.org. Retrieved June 17, 2020.