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Racist Trauma & Self Care

Published: Oct 12, 2021 @ 10:35 AM

We have launched Micro-Volunteering on the Connector. Along with the first opportunity our good friend Dr. Moyo Mutamba has provided a reflection reminder for all of us to tend to self care and acknowledge that racist trauma can show up anywhere.


Dear Volunteer,

Completing a survey that stirs emotions connected to racist experiences can bring up trauma for others. We will all respond differently to racist trauma and do self-care in diverse ways. However, whether you draw on conscious or subconscious processing mechanisms to care for yourself, it is crucial to take a moment to feel, reflect, and engage with where the trauma is showing up in your body. Doing this will set you up well to reduce the long-term impacts of racist retraumatization. What has worked for me is a compassionate approach to self-care, which consists of the following steps: 


  • The experience- observe what you have gone through
  • Feelings- note the feelings you are holding at the moment
  • Physical response-note physical reactions and the parts they are inhabiting


  • Not the intensity of both the feelings and physical responses. Noticing the intensity allows one to not underreact or overreact, supporting you in considering the self-care that is proportional to the situation. 


  • Say your feelings and self-talk out loud. Notice what your feelings and thoughts are asking you to do.


  • Take a deep breath for each thought, physical response, feeling. Or take a deep breath for 3-5minutes. This will calm your activated nervous system.

Consider talking to someone about your experience if you get triggered often by racist encounters or reminders.

Take good care.

Dr.  Moyo Rainos Mutamba

Co-director and Facilitator, Bloom Consulting