This Tuesday, May 25 marks the one year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder. George was more than a figure head that marked the racial justice movement of 2021. He was more than just a “wake up” call to America. He was a man, a father, a son, a brother. He was human. 

As we head into this week, we want to acknowledge the life that was George Floyd’s and encourage all of our Boss Women readers to take time to reflect, pray and be still. For many, his murder was the beginning of a movement but for the Black community, it was a a reminder of the horrific realities we face each day. We watched alongside America but we also felt the pain and trauma of generations worth of senseless killings to Black lives. 

Whatever space you occupy this week, remember to prioritize your mental health. Set boundaries and allow yourself room to grapple with the last year and all of the emotions that came along with it. Here are a few ways you can take space this week: 

  1. Turn off the TV and social media. Studies show the drastic effects police killings have on Black mental health. It’s highly likely that we’ll be inundated with images on TV and across social media on Tuesday that show the last moments of George Floyd’s life. Take time to think through how best you wish to engage. If you don’t want to revisit the traumatic moment, consider shutting down the TV and social media. The peace of mind it brings you will be worth every moment of distance. 
  2. Check in with your therapist. For some, many of the traumas we experience are buried behind productivity and business. Consider talking to your therapist about the last year and how the racial unrest has impacted your daily life and routine. Professional counsel can help provide alternatives to help us set boundaries and encourage healing. In an article by the New York Times, Douglas E. Lewis Jr., a clinical and forensic psychologist in Decatur, Ga., said he was seeing more Black people willing to seek therapy now than in the past. “I think people are starting to see therapy for exactly what it’s always been, which is more of an insight, building, more of an opportunity to see things in a different perspective, reframing,” Dr. Lewis said. “It’s something that everyone could benefit from, not just people who may be diagnosed with a severe persistent mental illness.”
  3. Spend time with trusted friends and family. Create new memories with those you love by going out of your way to remind them of what they mean to you. Whether picking up the phone to catch up with a distant relative or cooking dinner with friends, find a new way to share your love with your community. We need people and in the last year, it’s never been more apparent how critical it is to show up and support those we love. 

Rest in power, George Floyd. We honor your life today and everyday.

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