Most people can agree that 2017 has not been an easy year.
For journalists of color, the stories we are called to write and report on have been heart wrenching, tear-jerking, and downright triggering to produce. But we continue to wake up every day, fulfill our callings, and get this money because we were taught to power through anything that threatens our livelihood.
Here are some of the things Ione Digital journalists do to calm themselves in the face of crisis:
“I realize that when the news cycle is brutal, it’s more important than ever to allow yourself to unplug. For me that means I sign off Twitter, leave my phone on silent, and zone out with a good book or a face mask. It also means helping others, whether it means reaching out to see how other colleagues are doing or finding a way to help with charity work.” – Jada Gomez, CASSIUS Deputy Editor
“I find laughter, whether it’s via a movie or my friends or a funny joke on Twitter. Being able to laugh about something often allows me to decompress and relax. I also listen to music, which might be my biggest refuge in this crazy world. Looking for new material, new artists, or just feeling nostalgic and playing something old allows me to go to another place. Sometimes, I write it out. Writing about my thoughts and feelings helps me identify and acknowledge a lot of things about myself. Even if it’s for me to see and no one else, seeing how I feel on a page or on a screen can sometimes show me a different perspective.” – Cory Townes, CASSIUS Associate Entertainment Editor
“I give myself permission to tap out. I turn on my favorite ‘reality’ TV shows and zone out to decompress my mind. Red wine helps, too. Lots of wine.” – Keyaira Kelly, Hello Beautiful Staff Writer & Producer
“I cry sometimes. No apologies. I remind myself that if reporting/witnessing death and destruction doesn’t occasionally move me to tears, particularly as a parent whose babes have to thrive in this world, something’s wrong with me. I preach to the choir: I only check for my most woke crew when I need to vent about the crazy and feel affirmed that my point of view is actually what’s sane. Whether on social or in real life, when it gets thick, I only seek the bona fide, unwavering wise ones. I puff, puff, pass. I mean, if it was legal. When in serious need of less stress, I might throw on a robe, relax, indulge, eat Munchos and talk shit while not watching the Kardashians or Antique Road Show. Might, you judgmental freaks.” – Kierna Mayo, Senior Vice President of Content and Brands
“I choose what I consume. I haven’t watched [footage of] the LV shooting and I probably won’t. I have the power of what I watch and I don’t have to watch violent acts towards people. I also do this so these things aren’t normalized in my mind. I call someone I love. Sometimes these acts can make you feel helpless. However, there are people that I love and who love me and no time is a better time to let someone know how you feel about them than now. Also: deep breathing. It really is powerful and calming and a stress reliever. Try it!” – Danielle James, Hello Beautiful Style & Beauty Editor
“I’ve gotten back into therapy, which has been very helpful. I also take time away from social media and prioritize spending time with my loved ones in ways that I haven’t in recent years. In the past, I’ve been more inclined to ‘drink it away,’ but I’ve actually been indulging in alcohol less and turning to the ‘mighty herb’ instead (legally, of course). It does wonders for my anxiety and helps me sleep, which doesn’t come easy these days.” – Jamilah Lemieux, Vice President of News and Men’s Programming
“I pray. It sounds cliche, but it’s gotten me through during some of the most difficult times of my life. There’s a sense of calm and serenity it brings, which definitely helps me get through. I also talk to Nana. My 93-year-old grandmother has seen it all; it’s an added blessing that at her age she’s still sharp as a tack, lives on her own, is pretty self-sufficient and is in great health. Whenever I feel like all is hopeless, she always knows how to put things in perspective as she’s powered through the toughest of times from war, segregation, and political turmoil to extreme poverty and death. I also watch ratchet TV. Sometimes a bit of escapism is all you need to get through. When I’m feeling overwhelmed with day to day stress and the current the state of affairs a little Love and Hip Hop or WAGS messiness always gives me a much needed laugh.” – Marielle Bobo, Executive Director of Style & Special Projects
“I try as hard as possible to zone out. I’ll say a prayer, listen to Solange or Lauryn Hill, and just vibe out. Watching pointless reality TV also helps. I refuse to watch the news after six, I like to wind down as calm as possible.” – James Love, Associate Editor of Style & Culture
“Some work weeks are crazier than others, but I try to carve out time for exercise no matter what. Meditation and stretches in the mornings. Yoga after work. Sometimes it’s a jog. Whatever the activity, getting lost in my body allows me to tune out the noise and tune into myself. I journal whenever I find my thoughts making a mess of themselves. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed or anxious and can’t place my finger on why. Since I’m visual, seeing my thoughts on paper helps me sort them out and find solutions. A typical morning commute is me scrolling through my timeline for headlines while packed on the 1 train, but if I need extra ‘me’ time before I shift into work mode, I’ll read a book. Books have been my number one escape since I was a child. They’re a place of solace in turbulent times, and sometimes getting lost in someone else’s story is just what I need to take the edge off. I’m very introverted by nature and don’t like bombarding others with my issues, but when all else fails, I’ll confide in someone I love, like a trusted friend or my partner.” – Stephanie Long, News & Culture Editor