Take Care of Yourself FIRST

Take Care of Yourself FIRST

11/16/20 Laura Gibbons

If you’re feeling hurt, frustrated, or angry over microaggressions, take care of yourself first. It can be emotionally draining both to challenge microaggressions and to let them slide.

Focus on what you can control and accept what you can’t.
You can’t control the biased thinking and behavior of other people, though you can choose to call attention to it on occasion. You can take care of yourself:

Make time to talk with friends and allies who understand what you are experiencing.
Microaggressions can make you feel like you don’t belong. Friends and allies can remind you that you do. Talking things through with people who “get it” can help you cope. Good conversations give you strength, shore up your sense of self-worth, and help you come up with strategies for the future.

Take care of your physical health.
Establish a routine with healthy sleep, exercise, and healthy eating habits. A healthy body is the foundation for your emotional health.

Practice stress management.
Try meditation, deep breathing, or listening to calming music—whatever works for you. Take breaks to relax and counter the tension that can build up when you are feeling unwelcome and misunderstood.

Build pride in who you are.
Engage with others to build awareness of social injustice and work for change. Read about people like you who have succeeded in life and helped to make the world a better place. Seek out role models who make you proud to be who you are. Find a mentor who values you for who you are and can help lift you up.

Source: Morgan, H. (2020, June 24). Responding to microaggressions (C. Gregg-Meeker, Ed.). Raleigh, NC: Workplace Options. EA Brown Bagger, Part of the Employee Assistance Report, Volume 23, No. 11, November 2020

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