Hello relatives. I wanted to take this moment and acknowledge the big life events that are happening in our world right now.

Hello relatives. I wanted to take this moment and acknowledge the big life events that are happening in our world right now. There is this collective outreach that is taking place.  Young people want to talk about what they are seeing on media and hearing in our communities. We are all searching for some guidance to help us understand, process, survive, and move about our daily lives.

Creating a circle of support for yourself is critical as well as seeking support and guidance so that these crucial conversations can happen in a way that helps you to feel safe and heard so that you can ultimately process your emotions.

Now, how do you do that?

A simple way to do that is to take a piece of paper and draw four circles inside of each other. The inner circle in the center is you, the second circle outside of that is your family, the third circle are your friends, and the last outer circle is your community. For each circle write down the names of someone you trust and can talk to. This is your circle of support.

If this moment finds you without someone in your circle you feel you can talk to, consider adding to your outer circle:

  • Crisis Lifeline. You can text “Native” to 741 741 or dial 988 for free 24/7 counseling support
  • Youthline can connect you to native youth peers for emotional support. Call 877-968-8491 or text “teen2teen” to 839 863

Taking Care of Yourself

Some other things you can do to take care of yourself are to:

  • Limit Media and Social Media Exposure: I know you’ve hear it, but it’s harder to do in practice. So just for today, see if you can put your phone down for a little longer. And, tomorrow try for a little longer. If being on your phone helps you to cope, turn on a movie, watch something that doesn’t have news alerts, or play a game.
  • Practice Healthy Habits: This is a good time to establish a daily schedule that includes eating regular, healthy meals and snacks, exercising, and trying to get as close to a full night of sleep as possible. Turning off electronics at night will help you accomplish this.
  • Have Fun: It’s okay to disengage from tragedy. Give yourself permission to have fun. Consider doing something you really enjoy every day like going for a walk, writing/journaling, creating art, listening to music, being with family or friends, spending time with your pets, or whatever else brings you peace and joy.
  • Connect with Others: Spend time with your family, friends, and other people who make you feel more relaxed and loved. You can find ways to help others through volunteering, tutoring, especially with your younger relatives who need you too, or find out what cultural events might be happening. Finding ways to connect with others often leads to feeling better. If you are worried about how a peer is coping, check in with them, and let a trusted adult know.
  • Connect with your culture: Use this as an opportunity to seek cultural grounding such as sage burning, sweat lodge, running, dancing or any other cultural activity that you use in your community to process emotions.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

Auntie Manda


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