Written by: Ann Huynh, SDSU Asian Pacific Islander Social Work Association
Trigger Warning: Mention of Anti-AAPI Hate Crimes
As we approach the final weeks of 2021, many of us may be going through a time of reflection about how this year has gone. As reported by NBC News, the Asian Pacific Islander population saw over a 73% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes last year which has led to members of our community fearing for the safety of each other and ourselves. Just earlier in March, there was a shooting that ended with the deaths of six Asian women. Stress is high and rightfully so as we are a targeted population all while trying to survive a pandemic. Which is why now is a crucial time for us to be reminded that we need to take care of ourselves.
The holidays are intended to be a time of celebration spent with loved ones, but may not always feel that way, especially if trying to cope with loss from COVID-19, strained family relationships, or stressors of everyday life. Do what you need for yourself. Take a break from negative news. Allow distance from people, whether friends or family, who make you feel small. Let yourself rest, because rest isn’t a reward to earn, but a human need. Mental health and wellness are often overlooked and unaddressed within the Asian community, leading to a tendency to try to push ourselves beyond our limit in fear of being “weak” otherwise.
But we are not weak. It takes immense strength to walk this world in our shoes and we continue to do so everyday. It’s okay to rest and recharge in between steps if that’s what we need to keep pushing forward. Acknowledge what we need in order to be our best selves as we march into the new year.
Learn about the signs of depression and anxiety and how to support yourself in times of stress.
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