Often we, as queer people of color, are told and shown that we constantly have to do more, work more, and give more, just to exist in the same spaces as other people. There is an expectation that we are always available, not just for work, but also for support. We are asked to participate in “___”, work on “____”, or help put together “____”, from people both within our communities and outside, and for many of us our first reaction is to say yes to these requests leaving us in constant, ongoing distress. And, when it comes to violence against us, the choice to participate is not ours, as we encounter that violence on a daily basis online, through media, and in our daily lives. One of the hardest things to do for many of us is to recognize when we need to step away and take care of ourselves. Self care isn’t just saying No to new projects, or getting off facebook for the day (though those are definitely ways to practice self care) it’s taking the time to self evaluate, recognize when we have given too much, and take the time to allow our mind, body, and souls to heal.
But even trying to find self care resources can end up causing us distress, as most resources available are not QPOC focused or do not have the unique experiences of queer people of color in mind.
So to save you some time searching and to help you along your self care journey, whether you have been on that journey for a while, or are just beginning, we’ve compiled 5 online self care resources. Check them out. Hopefully, you’ll find something you can use, and maybe even share with a friend.
This site has a simple but powerful concept. To help you regulate your breathing, simply match the expanding and contracting pattern with your breathing cycle. Currently there are two patterns to choose from and 13 different colors, with more patterns in the works. Created as a personal project in part by Jae Lin, a member of the allgo Health & Wellness Team.
There are times when we just want to tell someone about all things that we are carrying with us. Sometimes we wish that person could be a stranger who we will never hear from again. This site allows for that to happen. Click “Check it’ to write a message and send it off, a random person who clicks “Carry it” can respond to your message. They can only respond once, and both of you are kept anonymous.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do when you’re feeling down. This site will ask you some questions to help you get started on a self-care path. It’s a cool concept that can help you when you are feeling low and don’t know what steps to take.
This article, by Jasmine Banks, discusses the effect online spaces have on people of color. Banks gives some signs of psychological trauma and offers some ways to practice self-care.
This list, created by Fabian Romero, gives some things you can do to practice self care when encountering people’s problematic views and opinions. While it focuses on educational environments, the list itself can be applied to everyday life.
This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but will hopefully help you on your self care path. Which self care practice are you most likely to try out? Do you have any other favorites not already on this list? Share your answers in the comments!