Racial minorities take extra steps to survive and navigate racially conditioned culture to be perceived as an individual instead of racial stereotype and secure their safety.


Below are six things you can do now to take care of yourself while dealing with racial injustice.

1. Utilize social support

  • Create a support network with people who understand your racial reality.
  • Minimize contact with potential racism (if you can.)
  • Take time to process emotion associated with current racial issues.
  • Share racial experiences and thoughts about racial climate with people whom you can trust.

2. Create an optimally positive lifestyle for yourself

  • Remember to engage in basic self-care through eating, sleeping and having some sense of routine.
  • Develop racial pride by recognizing resilience in your own community.
  • Engage in activities that you find to be peaceful and relaxing.
  • Find activities that comforts you and make you happy.
  • Find peace from religion and spirituality.

3. Understand your internal process

  • Identify and name emotions that you experience within cultural context.
  • Establish your own position on racial issues.
  • Recognize your power, strengths, and resilience.
  • Develop perspectives on current issues.

4. Acknowledging cultural context

  • Recognize external factors such as microaggression, unfair treatment, and racial profiling that contribute to your feelings and overall psychological concerns.
  • Make a conscious effort to not internalize negative social messages/images toward your racial and cultural group.
  • Acknowledge overt, covert, and unintentional forms of racism in our society and develop a clear understanding about how different forms of racism affect us psychologically.

5. Taking an action

  • Express your racial concerns in constructive way.
  • Develop functional coping skills for stress associated with racial issues.
  • Pay attention to opportunities for change and improvement.
  • Engage in positive activism.

6. Seeking help

Seek chances to talk about your experiences and perspectives on racial issues in a safe environment (individual counseling or support group can be helpful).

Coping with Stigma-Based Stress

A useful concept to understand racial groups way of coping with stigma-based stress.

  • Proactive Coping: coping based on anticipation of racial biases.
  • Reserved Judgment: Withhold judgement on others attitude toward one’s race until obtaining more information.
  • Cognitive reappraisal: Attempts to perceive others in a more positive light.
  • Individuating information: Intentional self-disclosure in order to help others perceive you as individual rather than as negative group stereotype.
  • Information seeking: Seeking information about others racial biases throughout the interaction as a coping effort.