Amid a global pandemic and the onslaught of news related to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others, 2020 has proved to be an exceptionally trying year, especially for the Black community and people of color. Whether you’ve been furloughed or lost a job due to the pandemic or cried out with protesters in the streets, day to day life can begin to feel overwhelming and full of uncertainty. In these videos, Memphis based clinical psychotherapist Natasha Bonner weighs in on how to practice self-care during this time, restoring mind, body, and spirit in the name of self-preservation. Here are five self-care tips that will help you improve your day to day functioning. 

Tip 1: Exercise

Research shows us that when we exercise, blood flows to our brain and improves our overall mood. If you’ve been feeling sluggish or if you have been feeling so drained and tired lately, get up and move! Exercise for about 30 minutes a day, or if you have any health or physical limitations, 10-15 minutes daily would be perfect. That way, it increases your blood flow and increases the chances of an overall good mood for you. 

Tip 2: Unplug from social media 

We are hit with so much information and it can be very overwhelming. Unplug for 30 minutes to an hour right before you go to bed, that way you are able to meditate and decrease the mental impact of all of the negative information that you might have watched. 

Tip 3: Journal 

Often times we are very hesitant to share our true feelings with friends or family members. Try journaling a goal that you have or a simple thought or a mood that you were feeling that day. Don’t hesitate and don’t hold yourself back when you’re journaling. Allow your mind to flow freely, that way you can get the best out of your journaling experience. 

Tip 4: Try aromatherapy 

Any oil would be great to try, but lavender oil can produce calming sensations throughout your house. Oftentimes it can help if you take an aromatherapy bath. 

Tip 5: Sleep

Research says we need about 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Natasha’s favorite quote is, “if the body is burnt out, the brain cannot produce.” It’s very important that we get enough sleep at night. 

We hope these self-care tips can improve your day to day functioning. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, please consider reaching out to a local mental health professional. For more mental health tips and tricks, following Natasha at @vintagecounselor on Instagram, check out her self-reflection journal here, or visit her website www.harmonizingminds.org

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