Ways to Cope with Being One of Few People of Color In the Office
Being the only person of color or one of few in the workplace can be tricky sometimes. I used to be terrible at dealing with it and finding ways to stop being so in-my-head about it, but after several years of figuring out how to make things easier for myself, I've developed a pretty secure routine.
In case you missed it, I wrote an in-depth piece about this for Girlboss. I'll touch on a few here as well as some new things I've integrated into my wellness practice. Check it out below and let me know what helps you cope with being the only PoC in the office in the comments!
I've been meditating for forever and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, if you haven't tried it you should. Start small with three to five minutes right when you wake up in the morning. Starting your day this way helps you become more self-aware and reduce stress. It's not a coincidence that many of the world's successful people meditate every single day.
It's been scientifically proven that meditation actually changes your brain for the better. The parts of your brain that are related to emotional regulation, positive emotions, emotional stability increases in volumes, thus allowing you to engage in more mindful behavior.
Start your day with meditation every morning for a week and see how you feel.
Finding a podcast you can trust to make you feel good can also be helpful. It can be funny, spiritual, whatever you want it to be as long as it contributes to your overall wellness in some way. I can give you a few recommendations right now: my go-to when I need to laugh is Two Dope Queens. It's endless laughter and something I can easily listen to during my commute to work. When I'm looking for something about wellness, I have Black Girl In Om, a "conversation on all things wellness, self-care, and self-love for women of color."
When you're feeling particularly stressed out at work, it can also be a good idea to pop in your headphones and listen to a podcast to calm you down.
Go for a walk
Take a break. Do whatever you need to during that time to get back to yourself. For me, going for a walk allows me to breathe in some fresh air and clear my head. So find something that does this for you and do it.
Surround yourself with good people
The people you surround yourself with can make or break the situation you find yourself in. What I mean by that is, if you’re stressed and unhappy at job, being friends with someone only brings even more negative energy into your life doesn't serve you in the best way. It only raises every other low- vibrational emotion you're feeling. So look at your circle and make sure the people around you are contributing positivity and love to your life.
It can also help to have a core circle of people or someone who can relate to the experience of being the only or one of the few PoC in the office because then you have that added support and feel less alone in your experience.
Exercising doesn't just benefit your physical health, it also benefits your mental and emotional health. Working out reduces your stress levels and has the power to boost your overall mood. I work out in the morning, since that's the time that works best for me, but just 45 minutes of exercise helps me start my day on the right note.
If you have any additional advice or tips let me know in the comments!