The past week or so has been…something. Minority stress levels have been high, and I can only imagine what people of color, immigrants, and women are feeling right now in this political climate. I want to remind people to take care of themselves, whether it’s by seeking the counseling of a therapist; confiding in a close friend or support network; or taking part in an activity that you enjoy. It can also be beneficial to keep an eye on physical health as well, as minorities face increased risk of hypertension, heart disease, and muscle tension.
What leads to minority stress? The Meyer Minority Stress Model shares that four components increase the feeling of stress within minorities, these are:
Being worried that mannerisms, appearance, language, or behavior will result in being discriminated or harassed.
Expecting to be rejected and discriminated based on the above indefinitely.
Concealing your identity or altering yourself to fit in with different environments.
The fifth component of the stress model identifies what can be done to decrease stress; The use of coping skills and social supports. Some ideas on what this component may look like include:
Build a Support Network
If you are spiritual, utilize your belief system
Check any cognitive distortions you’re having (CBT)
Take part in activities you enjoy
Become involved in social action. Some local resources are:
It’s important to keep in mind that minorities, in general, experience more stressors than the majority population. This stress is only increased during times of perceived uncertainty and danger. If you’re a minority please take care of yourself by utilizing a mix of the above skills and if you’re not a minority, make sure to check in with your friends, family, and loved ones who are, they’ll appreciate the support.