It’s a particularly stressful and tense time at the moment in the lead up to the referendum on the Indigenous Voice to Parliament. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples especially the constant debates and conversations can really take a toll. We wish we could reach out and give anyone struggling during this time a big hug, but short of that we thought we’d throw together some of our tips for how to best take care of yourself during this time. They’re only small, and some of them may even seem obvious, but it never hurts to remind ourselves of all the tools in our toolkits during high stress times.
1. Take a break from social media. Give yourself permission to disconnect, even if only for 15 minutes a day. There is a lot of misinformation and negativity online, so taking a step away can help you reset and ground yourself.
2. Get into nature. Go for a walk in nature, whether that’s the bush, the beach, or just your local park. Take some deep breaths of fresh air, and really spend time noticing the beauty of Country.
3. Reach out to trusted people for support. There is no shame in needing help, everyone needs to lean on each other from time to time. Give someone a call, or go around to their place for a cuppa and a yarn.
4. Find small moments for self-care, your way. Are you a bath person? Maybe you love cosying up with a good book. Or do you have a favourite sport you love to play? We’re a bit biased and love a good cup of tea. Whatever it is for you, find something that brings you joy and make sure not to let this slip during stressful moments.
5. Make use of resources and mental health services. There are services around to support you through tough times, and many are specifically set up for Indigenous Australians. So don’t be shy about reaching out to these as needed. Here are some suggestions of places to start: 13 YARN, WellMob, Yarn Safe. WellMob has even made this incredible resource full of Tips to stay deadly during The Voice to Parliament referendum.
Take care of yourselves and each other. Allies, this is your time to step up and support your First Nations friends, family, colleagues and community members.
We’ll leave you with one of our favourite affirmations from our leader Kerry Arabena’s heart straight to yours:
My existence is resistance. I am the past, present, and the future. I am safe and secure and rooted in this present moment.
The Ilan Style team x