We reach out in the throes of a Black Lives Matter movement in hopes that we find you well, though we are aware that there is a good chance you are not. Just as we reached out to you at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, we are reaching out to you during another important and impactful series of events – the Black Lives Matter Movement. Our aim for this message is that it will help you feel our support and know that you can lean on us during these emotional times. After the heartbreaking death of George Floyd (and so many others before him and now after him), The Better You Institute has put a lot of thought and emotion into asking ourselves – what can we do as a company to show our support to the Black Lives Matter movement and to use our positioning to help eliminate racism and systemic oppression?
Our first order is to address this topic with you, our readers, who are working so hard to improve yourself and the lives you touch. How are you doing? Some of you have already asked for us to create room for you in your sessions to process your experiences. Thank you, we are honored that we could share in that space with you. If you’re experiencing any of the current events like we are, you probably feel hopeful, hopeless, helpless, scared, lost, torn, excited at the prospect of change, shame, guilt, and a whole catalog of other emotions that one letter couldn’t begin to describe. We want to keep our message to you simple – It’s okay.
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It’s okay to not know how to feel. It’s okay to go into fight, flight, or freeze mode. It’s okay to have realizations and not know where to go with them. It’s okay to have questions, to not have all the answers right away. It’s okay to check-out for a bit. It’s okay to check-in and rally. What you are going through now will most likely have a longstanding impact on you. Our wish for you is that this impact is a positive one where you experience yourself and the world around you differently.
What is not okay is the injustice that is, and has been, happening to certain communities in our country. When we think about The Better You Institute as a mental health agency, as a brand, and as a community participant, we stand on the notion of authenticity, acceptance, genuineness, and openness to change. We recognize that we aren’t always the best at exhibiting these attributes but know that they are who we are in our core. As each of our clinicians reflects on an individual level about our own privilege that we carry, we want to acknowledge that we aren’t always perfect in our presentation of these attributes. We want to apologize for anything that we may have participated in or displayed that didn’t stand by these values in the past. We want to apologize if we’ve taken on any role that has perpetuated a system that was built under the guise of freedom and equality yet perpetuates a devaluing of human life and preferential treatment. Our goal is to own the areas in which we are lacking today and work toward change for tomorrow.
As therapists, we are taught to lean into the client’s needs, to meet them where they are, and to not let our own values and needs get in the way of that. However, as a business, we want to make a concrete statement that we support the Black Lives Matter movement and seek to create safety and solace for all people who seek services from our providers. We recognize that everyone is in a different place or understanding of what is happening and that some of you aren’t sure where you stand. That’s okay. We are here to help you start the dialogue, to research, to learn so that you can feel informed and confident in your role as a member of the human race. After all, we’re all in this [human] race together because we’re all human.
To set you up for success in your journey, wherever you choose to take it, you need to be sure that you are caring for yourself. As self-care is so important all the time, but especially now, we have compiled a list of things that you can do for yourself in relation to this necessary movement toward equality.
Self-Care During a Social Justice Movement
- Listen to yourself, be kind to yourself, give yourself what you need in the moment
- Let yourself Feel, Think, Act
- Don’t take outward action if you don’t have the energy, if it’s too triggering, or if you just can’t.
- Surround yourself with like-minded folx
- Surround yourself with someone who thinks differently and can add depth to your perspective through diversity in a forward-moving dialogue
- Maintain stability in the things that are stable
- Wake up time and bedtime
- Working out
- Eating healthy
- Water intake
- Checking-in with yourself
- Indulge in something that brings you joy: watching TV, listening to music, reading, cooking, sewing, physical activity, model cars, botany, being outside, video games
- Listen to music that moves you
- Get out in nature
- Turn on/off your social media
- Take action that feels good to you that supports the cause
- Donate (time/money)
- Attend a protest
- Listen and create dialogue around racism and equality
- Reach out to your political leaders/representatives, write them, tweet them, get their attention, and say that THIS IS NOT RIGHT!
- Buy Black
- Listen, Watch, Read, and Learn about Black Lives Matter and other major movements.
- Read articles and books
- Watch videos, documentaries, or television shows
- Listen to podcasts and music
- Follow people on social media that teach or curate conversations with the public
- Some leaders of the movement: Rachel Ricketts, Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, Layla F. Saad, and reading books by Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi
- Instagram follow: @pullupforchange
- Don’t burn yourself out!
- Start small. Every little thing you do counts toward something that is big.
We are hopeful that we can help support you in your journey. We are all in this together. We have therapists on staff that is well versed in multicultural therapy, oppression, the intersectionality of individuals, and the experiences of BIPOC. However, we also understand that your experience is your own. We want to support you in your growth, and recognize that our experience may be different than yours. We value you as the expert of your life. Please reach out for our support – 267-495-4951.