Every day, our community is under attack by racist lawmakers and the voices of white supremacists who make it their job to terrorize our families. When we wake up in the morning, go out to work, eat, study, and even sleep, the constant fear and anxiety that we carry is slowly inhibiting us from living and thriving in our lives and constantly pushes our families to be in “survival mode.” We at United We Dream say “no more living in fear, no more in living in the shadows, and no more living under under unhealthy stress.” As a network, we must address the mental health of our community and transform it with love. The United We Dream UndocuHealth Project was started to facilitate the incorporation and daily practice of self-love, community healing, and wellness when organizing in times of trouble, turbulence, and chaos. Below are 3 personal UndocuHealth Techniques to put into practice:
1) Wholesome Breathing
Placing awareness on the breath, inhale through the nostrils and feel the belly rising up with air, exhale through the nostrils as well, with awareness and a steady pace. Repeat this breathing technique until feeling more calm, and centered.
Goal: This breathing technique is a good reminder of our primal nature which is to breathe like babies do, through our throat, lungs and belly. When breathing with awareness, the nervous system calms down as well as the heart rate, which may relieve anxiety and/ or stress.
2) Listening Partners
Select a person whom you trust in which you can both participate in a listening experience, each person gets to talk for a specific amount of time and the person listening must simply listen without judgement, while the person talking gets to unload emotions or things they want to release.
Goal: The Goal of listening partnerships is to create a safe space in which an individual can speak from the heart and be listened to without any kind of feedback, or advice. The person can feel free to be themselves and to talk about anything at all. It’s a great technique to unload stress through words while also feeling listened to and acknowledged.
3) Mindful Meditation
Sit up straight with both feet on the floor. Close your eyes. Focus your attention on reciting — out loud or silently — a positive affirmation such as “I feel at peace” or “I love myself.” Place one hand on your belly to sync the affirmation with your breaths. Let any distracting thoughts float by like clouds.
Goal: A few minutes of meditation a day can help reduce anxiety and stress. By releasing endorphins, daily meditation may alter the brain making one more resilient to stress. Meditating allows one to learn how to discipline yourself by promoting positive feelings rather than negative ones, this will reflect in your everyday lifestyle.