How To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement When You Have Anxiety

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How To Support The Black Lives Matter Movement When You Have Anxiety

With the world the way it is today on the heels of the coronavirus lockdowns and sustained national Black Lives Matter protests, it is likely that your anxiety has skyrocketed.

Ever since the gruesome day that George Floyd was murdered by a police officer, protesters have taken the streets all across the nation as well as across the world to bring justice for Floyd and the countless Black Americans who have fallen victim to the rampant systemic racism in our country.

Despite the vast majority of the protests starting peacefully, we have witnessed more police brutality against the people who are exercising their right to freedom of speech and the right to protest.

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Images of police pepper-spraying protesters, beating people down with batons, rubber bullets causing permanent damage, and even police cars running over protestors bombard us through television news and social media.

These past couple of days have been eating me alive, and I'm sure a lot of you are feeling the same effects, including increased helplessness, stress, and anxiety.

Despite your anxiety, it is possible to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Here are a few ways you can manage your anxiety while still doing your part during this saddening time.

1. Find protests near you

If you are in a town where protests are being demonstrated, it is your right to attend and voice your opinion. Protesting does not mean we are shouting in the middle of the street for no reason nor does it mean we are vandalizing and looting businesses. Protestors are protestors, looters are looters.

Social media is a handy tool during times like this and it is your job to research as much as possible to find out where the action is and who you need to speak to in order to receive vital information.

I plan on attending my first protest in my town this weekend, and I've got to say, I feel pretty great about it.

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2. Email your town officials

COVID-19 is still very much a thing to worry about. If you do not feel comfortable going to protests because you are or know someone who is high-risk, that is perfectly okay!

One thing I have been doing is reaching out to the elected officials in my town to ask them what their response is to what's happening, and how they plan on bringing this community together.

You can also email another town in this country if you have heard about any other murders or wrongful assaults by police officers.

For example, on March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home when the police barged in under false pretenses.

Petitions for the arrest and prosecution of those officers are waging today even two months after Taylor's death.

3. Take a break from social media

As much as social media can be used to raise awareness about what goes on in this world, it can detrimentally affect your well-being.

On my news feed, all I ever see are my followers and their followers calling out the corruption that has been present in this country for too long.

I see videos resurfacing of Ahmaud Arbery, who was only jogging in a residential area when a father and son drove up to him on a pickup truck, fatally shooting him. And before the shooting happened, witnesses heard racial slurs being used against him.

We as a society have become desensitized by videos of people being murdered; seeing these types of videos on our news feeds every day is only destroying our minds and spirits.

Just because you stay off social media for a couple of days does not mean you are not an ally or actively helping our black communities.

It is always important to stay informed, do your own research, but above all, make sure you are okay.

No amount of sincere words, protests, or laws will bring back the lives we have lost. But, their names will hug our minds tightly as we continue to fight for justice.

No justice, no peace.

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Destiny Duprey is a writer who covers self-care, music, and astrology.