Self Care Toolkit For Your Spiral
A roundup centering black women and then other people of color
Gonna cut to the chase: cue endless screaming. Anyway, I wrote this list mostly for my friends who are spiraling, but it is something I hope you - also hopefully my friends - finds useful, too. You are already inundated with news and terror. I hope this offers you some resources on finding space to breathe, room to sit with your feelings, as myriad and overwhelming and exhausting as they may be, and offers you some time to recover so you can get back to doing the work. This is the a long haul fight, it always has been.
First, a resolution from June Jordan to set the mood…….
Calming your nervous system guided exercise (Instagram Live)
Breathwork workshop series guided by Maryam Ajayi, a black energy healer. Allies can donate sessions, and the sessions are $40. There is one tomorrow.
There is also the “Finding Calm: Sliding Scale Virtual Breathwork Circle” led by Black Girls Breathing you can donate to or participate in.
Modo Yoga and Sky Ting Yoga are both frequently doing Instagram Live donation based and free classes.
I do meditation with rev Angel Kyodo Williams, there’s an online network support system that centers POC. If you haven’t already read Radical Dharma (and you’re open to Buddhist teachings) it’s really important to me, personally, and might offer you some comfort.
TBH i’m at the point where I turn on sound bath videos 1-3 hours before sleep, turn the lights off, and lie on the floor until feelings stop suffocating me. I recommend it! Here is one to start. Breathe in 4 seconds. Hold four seconds. Breathe out for seconds. Just repeat the rules in your head and keep going. It works.
Tinctures and Holistic Remedies
Yves and other holistic healers are doing a herbal medicine drive. You can donate to help send tinctures TO folks right now. Free tinctures are for black people right now - as allies you can get your own directly through the webshop which helps support the creation, too. Personally, I’m a big fan of 69herbs and have been taking drops of Coat My Nerves nightly. It’s still in stock!
The People’s Medicine Project is a great option if you’re looking to contribute on a recurring, long-term sustainability centered basis. From the website: “Anything you can give will go directly towards the People’s Medicine Reclamation Project, our scholarship fund for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) to access the offerings of Rootwork Herbals including herbal medicine, individual consultations, and educational opportunities such as the People’s Medicine School. Funds collected above what is needed for scholarship will go towards the creation of a BIPOC land trust that will house the People’s Medicine School, learning gardens, teaching apothecary and a safe space for healing.”
If you’re planning on going out for protests and are more inclined to assist as a medic, here is The Herbalist Street Medic guide. It’s also just a good guide so you understand the ingredients in tinctures you might be buying.
Mental Health Resources That Center Black People and other POC
There is a directory of black therapists available on Melanin & Mental Health, alongside a podcast on mental health for black people you can listen to. I think it would be helpful for everyone to listen to Session 97: Supporting Your Friends.
Another directory: Therapy for Black Girls. It also has a guide on how to select a therapist and a monthly paid community feature so you can decompress with other black women. There is also the directory Therapy for Black Men.
JamiQuan S, a licensed clinical therapist, is offering free therapy as well. Here is how to schedule, and you can donate towards that service offering here.
There is also this fundraiser for Black Female Therapists, and an application should you be in need of 2-3 free sessions. They also have their own directory of therapists.
Free “Staying Well in Crisis” talk on Eventbrite for tomorrow with Dr. Heja Heckard, centered around black women
Fostering Well-Being and Resilience During Periods of Uncertainty workshop (run by a white woman I do not know, fwiw)
I’m actually not going to offer a reading list right now because we are being inunandated with them and they are overwhelming and honestly? We’re well past the time for them. I do think that it’s worth everyone’s time to do this Reflections workbook.
Louise Bourgeois, To Unravel a Torment You Must Begin Somewhere, no. 8 of 9, from the series What is the Shape of this Problem?, 1999
Please remember to breathe and drink some water. You are capable of helping, you are capable of learning, and growing, and holding space for the people you love. You are capable of making a difference, even as it takes everything to do. But you cannot do it all at once, forever, endlessly. Remember to breathe, manage your emotional tank, and get rest. OK? And then keep going. And then repeat.