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How Black Employees Can Cope with TraumaThe protests and riots happening in response to George Floyd’s murder, racial tension, and many other disturbing events are sending people into chaos. If you have unchecked post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as a result, it can impact everything from your family life to your workplace productivity. It’s important to address your PTSD symptoms now to prevent them from interfering not only in your career but in your life as well.

Give Yourself a Break

Repeated imagery of police brutality and racial strife can have a devastating effect on a Black employee’s mental health, leading to chronic stress, anxiety, or depression. Remind yourself that you are allowed to take a break when you are feeling overwhelmed.

It’s okay to take a deep breath to give your mind time to reset. Managers should be aware of the PTSD symptoms their co-workers could be experiencing and watch for unusual mistakes, emotional outbursts, or frequent absenteeism. Companies should also provide mental health resources to give employees access to therapy if needed.

Solution-Focused Therapy

Racial discrimination may not be easy to solve, but making a list of what you would like to see happen after this situation can help give you a sense of control. Create an agenda with a therapist so that you can identify what you would like to happen as a result of this tragedy.

Solution-based therapy allows you to talk less about the problem and more about how to move forward with purpose. A therapist will first try to find the origins of the problem and then discuss effective and safe methods for managing it in the future.

Control Your Anger

Irritability and anger as a result of trauma can be affected by seeing disturbing images repeatedly, being reminded of a personal encounter with the police, knowing someone who has been involved in a similar situation, and many other scenarios. It is best to find healthy ways to channel your anger to avoid losing connections with your loved ones or letting it get in the way of your work.

Perhaps you can turn that anger into something productive through journaling, exercising, or donating to a racial-justice nonprofit. It may also help to be forgiving towards your non-Black colleagues if they do not always say the right things in response to this situation. Being in control of yourself and your PTSD means you are taking control of your career and your life.

Learning how to prevent self-defeating behaviors that impact your career and your life can be a major struggle, but The Guest House can help you accomplish just that. We believe in the power of regaining your strength and turning negative behaviors into healthy ones through group and individualized therapy, mindfulness, adventure therapy, equine therapy, somatic therapy, art therapy, and more. We are available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn more, call us now at (855) 483-7800.