Growing up, most Black, Indigenous and People Of Colour (BIPOC) were told be tough, to push through the pain, to keep it moving. This may be due to protecting us from being taken advantage of or due to intergenerational and racial trauma. Vulnerability and asking for help was viewed as a sign of weakness.
According to the research Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) , Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience racism in Australia, which affects their mental health and well-being. Beyond Blue research suggest that ATSI and CALD, access mental health services when they are severely distressed or in a crisis.
Black Indigenous and People of Colour are resilient; we are taught to be resilient, but we also need to take care of ourselves and be aware of when we are pouring from an empty cup.
When we talk about healing and wellness, you may may ask yourself, ‘how do I know it’s time to heal or focus on my well-being?‘ This may not always be easy for most BIPOC because of the stigma in our community regarding mental health and well-being. Here are a few signs that suggest that it’s time embark on your healing and wellness journey.
Lack of sleep or always worrying
If you find your mind is always thinking and worrying, and you are struggling to sleep, this may be a sign that it’s time to talk to someone. It is okay to occasionally worry, overthink, and have some nights where you stay up thinking about something. But if it is occurring frequently, then maybe consider the option of speaking to someone. You may also be experiencing anxiety.
We all have our sad days, days when we don’t feel ourselves, when we might need to feel our emotions, but it shouldn’t be a prolonged situation. If you find yourself always sad, crying, emotional, withdrawing from activities you enjoy, these may be signs of depression, and it’s important to talk to someone you can trust and have a professional to support you.
Withdrawing and Disengaged
Do you find yourself disengaged from activities you love or usually attend? Are you withdrawing from friends and family? We all need our “me” times, but if it’s continuous, and people around you start to notice, it may be a sign you should talk to someone. Sometimes, we may withdraw or disengage unconsciously. We may be drowning in our thoughts and worries.
You may be moody and angry and finding it difficult to control your emotions. This was a big sign for me. I was always reactive and didn’t know how to control my feelings. I was overpowered by my anger, and I hurt people around me; I couldn’t control it because I was also hurting. Talking to someone when you may be feeling over-reactive and unable to control your emotions is essential. A therapist can support you in identifying the root causes of your emotions and how to respond to and regulate them.
Being reactive may also be a fight response for people who have experienced traumatic events. Their fight response is their protective mechanism in situations where they may feel triggered and distressed.
Stuck in the cycle or routine
You may feel like you are continuously in the same situation, i.e. in a job that you don’t like or dating the wrong men and being in toxic relationships. When this occurs, you may feel like it is hard to break the cycle or find the underlying causes that lead to the same or similar situations. This is a sign that it’s time for healing, and focus on yourself to help you break native cycles.
Sometimes the cycle of unhealthy relationships maybe due to trauma and childhood trauma experiences. Therapists and healers will be able to explore underlying causes with you. We believe that healing for BIPOC people should be culturally safe, inclusive, responsive and affirming.
Sis, if you can relate to or are experiencing any one of these signs, please talk to someone. It’s okay not to be or feel okay. It’s okay to talk to someone. Showing vulnerability and talking to someone is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes you want to speak to sisters, and our sisters are here to listen to, support and empower you through your journey.
Our directory features; Black therapists and wellness professionals , Indigenous therapists and wellness professionals , Women of Colour therapists and wellness professionals. We are all here to support and empower you!