Wednesday Wellness tip: Acknowledging your feelings and the importance of advocacy

June 3, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

This is a very emotional time for many people across the world. In the midst of a global pandemic, shelter at home orders have strained parents, caregivers, front-line workers, businesses, students and just about everyone in the country and communities.

On top of the stress that comes with a global pandemic, the continued fight for justice and systemic racism is front and center.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for dealing with the current grief, fear and anxiety. Here are a few tips on how to navigate during this time:


Can you think of a time when you could have handled something differently when interacting with a person of color? Or possibly when you acted as a bystander and could have or may have stood up for a person of color?

This is a moment in time where solidarity and advocacy across cultural and racial divides is imperative. There are many ways to be an advocate, but showing up, listening, and educating yourself and others on the history of racial disparities is a great starting point. 

Allow your friends, family and coworkers of color to express their emotions and frustrations in this moment. While you may not always agree with their sentiments, listen to and empathize with their pain, and offer support as needed.

It’s ok not to be ok

It is normal to experience grief, unrest, stress and anger during this time. Acknowledge those feelings, stay informed but also take necessary breaks from the news and social media.

While it may be extremely difficult to tune out or think about something else, it is also very necessary to your mental health to step away and shift your focus.

For the parents who are having conversations with their children, remember to take care of yourself first.

In a recently published article, U-M developmental behavioral pediatrician Jenny Radesky, M.D., stated: “Vicarious trauma through screens is real, especially for marginalized communities who may have experienced similar actions first-hand. The stress of watching traumatic events on television and smartphones lingers within our bodies and minds.”

Radesky suggested parents find ways to channel that energy with positive actions, such as deep breathing and re-grounding exercises, before playing with or talking to your kids.

Take your time to understand how you feel. It’s ok to not be ok right now.

Michigan Medicine resources

Community Conversation: Community Check-In and Listening Session

Wednesday, June 3: 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Click here for the details on how to attend.

Virtual Town Hall: Current Climate
Friday, June 5: 2 p.m.
To join click here. Password: 657670

If you would like to help Michigan Medicine with the conversation and action plans, please fill out this brief survey.

External resources:

How to talk to your children about racism: Radesky was featured.

A list of resources for understanding