Updated: Nov 7, 2021
Post-pandemic (but are we really beyond it? Another topic for another day...) stress and anxiety can be overwhelming. For black, brown, and LGBTQ+ folks, the impacts are made even worse due to the compounding and intersecting impacts of racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism that we are more likely to experience in our daily lives. Learn ways to take care of yourself during this stressful time.
Since at least March 2020 people around the world have been experiencing the collective trauma that is the Covid-19 pandemic. It is upending our lives; people are losing jobs, getting sick, and dying. Our routines from how we work to how we socialize are disrupted. During the COVID-19 crisis, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported these symptoms pre-pandemic. The pandemic’s mental health impact has been more pronounced among the communities of color, queer (LGBTQ+), and trans folks, and other minority groups due to disproportionately high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths. Let's discuss ways BIPOC and LGBTQ+ individuals can boost their mental health in these uncertain times.
Why is it important to talk about mental health?
One in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. However, fewer than half of them will seek treatment. While professional and medical treatment might not be the solution or even accessible to everyone, especially QTPOC communities, here are alternatives anyone can take to enhance their mental health.
5 Techniques to Boost Your Mental Health
Studies suggest that physical exercise may help ward off mental health problems before they even start. Research also shows exercise can improve the symptoms of many existing mental illnesses and stress. In fact, exercise may be as effective as other treatments for depression. Additionally, exercise decreases stress hormones and promotes confidence. Regular physical activity may also have positive effects on the brain, like increased neurogenesis and improved neurotransmitter levels. So whether it is walking, yoga, swimming, dance, weight-lifting, or cardio, it is important to get your body moving to help your mental well-being.
Meditation helps reduce stress and reaffirms our identity and place in the world. In a January 2014 review in JAMA Internal Medicine, meditation was linked with improved anxiety, pain, and depression. Mindfulness meditation in particular can help increase positive emotions and decrease anxiety.
Here are a couple of meditation resources a beginner can utilize to get started.
The mental health app Shine has a free collection of meditations (with 90 percent voiced by Black women), stories, and a digital community.
Liberate Meditation is the leading BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) meditation app. Users can select meditations from one to 20 minutes to reduce stress and anxiety.
Having community promotes a sense of belonging, purpose, and support and is typically built around shared interests and values. For most people, communicating with others – through online forums, social media, or in person – can help to have a healthier more positive mindset, improved self-worth, and greater enjoyment of life. Take a moment to reflect - what communities are you a part of and how do you support and show up for them? How do they support and show up for you?
Self-care means prioritizing your mental health. This can include a variety of things including setting boundaries, maintaining a work-life balance, spending time with loved ones, or doing a digital detox away from the news and social media. Some people also enjoy baths, aromatherapy, or massages as self-care. Regardless of how you engage in self-care, it is very important to set time aside for yourself, in the words of Brene Brown, “we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.”
We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.
Hemp and Other Herbal Allies
Many people also turn to full-spectrum CBD because of its potential health benefits in reducing stress, anxiety, and managing depression. CBD helps maintain the right levels of anandamide in the body to stabilize emotions, reduce mood swings, and emotional outbursts. CBD for anxiety relief is linked to its ability to help with sleep problems, reduce stress, and manage depression. CBD body oil used in aromatherapy and massage provides a relaxing way to connect with the self while benefiting from its skin protective and anti-inflammatory properties. We also offer a line of hemp flower herbal smoke blends to help you sleep, focus, relax, meditate, or get in the mood for intimate time. All of our formulations reduce anxiety and mental barriers to allow you to unwind and be present. As with any product containing CBD, start with a small amount and gradually increase until you've found your desired dosage to enhance your well-being!
We face a national mental health crisis that will likely have serious health and social consequences for years to come, especially for members of black, brown, and LGBTQ+ communities. By using herbal medicines, exercise, meditation, community, and self-care, you can set yourself up for success by better managing your mental health and keeping your stress levels low.
Herbal wellness products made from hemp-derived CBD hold great potential for improving your quality of life. Our mission at The High Priestess Herbal Wellness is to provide the highest quality products on the market to enhance your well-being. Feel free to check out our website if you are interested in learning more. Our hope is that this information can help you, your families, friends, and loved ones through these extraordinary times, please share and subscribe if you found this content helpful or interesting!