Watching the videos of the senseless shooting of African Americans by police officers across the nation leaves me feeling hopeless and drained when I go to work in the morning. It is hard for me to sleep, and even more challenging as a person of color who is head of the department, to pretend that I do not hear racial comments made by some of my subordinates. I drive a luxury car, and each day I leave work feeling anxious and worried that I could be pulled over and arrested without doing anything wrong.
Let me commend you for being honest with yourself and recognizing what is going on inside you. There are four planes we exist at in life: the mental, physical, emotional and spiritual planes. Being aware of all the levels helps us to know when we are out of balance and need to tend to our own needs. Watching videos has a much stronger impact than reading a story in a magazine or newspaper. It is not uncommon for what we see to touch our hearts deeply, make us cry, and even very angry. You are entitled to all your feelings and emotions.
First of all, I am going to suggest that you develop a support team of at least a couple of people who you respect and trust. (If you have a church community, seek counsel and support from them). Sharing on a regular basis with people you trust is a necessity, especially for a person who works in a leadership capacity. Leaders need to have a safe space that they can voice their concerns and seek advice and counsel. Even if you do not attend church, you can develop a daily prayer and meditation practice before you go into work. Pray for peace and harmony in your workplace and also that you are guided in handling sensitive issues that come up throughout the day.
To maintain wellness and health in your body, mind, and spirit, make sure you’re getting regular exercise to help release the endorphins needed to help you to think optimistically. You did not mention if you are getting proper nourishment to your body during this stressful time, so I am going to also encourage you to have regular and consistent meals that include fresh fruits and vegetables.
It is easy to become depressed when we are exposed to a sensory overload of bad news. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to antidepressant medications, and new research suggests that acupuncture could be a promising option. One new study found the traditional Chinese practice to be as effective as antidepressants, and a different study found that acupuncture may help treat the medications’ side effects. Acupuncture treatments are even covered by many insurance companies.
Another of my concerns is that you are coming home from a stressful work day and continuing the same cycle of watching extremely painful and violent videos. I am going to suggest that you take a technology break after work for at least two to three days. Give yourself time to focus on other things will allow your brain to create new thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Spend time with people who are sensitive to what is going on in and around us, and consider donating to organizations that are helping those who are impacted by the violence.
A feeling of hopelessness always indicates it is time to shift your thinking. This is the perfect opportunity to consider volunteering with children who need caring adults in their lives. Big Brothers and Big Sisters are always in need of mentors. They have a waiting list of kids in need of guidance and support. The Boys and Girls Club in your area also needs people to assist them. Also, you could look for a nonprofit or organization that specializes in diversity and inclusion workshops.
Contact your HR department to discuss racial sensitivity classes or other training that your organization currently has available. And inquire whether your company or organization is planning special workshops or speakers to address racial unrest in our country.
Finally, if you are stopped by the police it is imperative to stay calm and not act with hostility toward being pulled over. A recent video posted online advises that all drivers should keep their license and registration in the side pocket of their door, so that they are not reaching in their pocket or purse. And to always keep your hands in front for the officer to see them.
Intuitive Life Strategist Sheree Franklin helps people to find the courage to release their life challenges in order to live in alignment with their true self.
She is the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use. To learn more about Franklin’s book go to www.amzn.to/1UxlWLG.
Sheree Franklin is a practitioner at Holistic Health Practice at One East Superior, in Chicago. You can email your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her practice includes one-to-one coaching as well as speaking to organizations. For more information go to www.shereefranklin.com or call 312-664-8376.