I am wiped, y’all.
The COVID-19 pandemic.
The death of Chris Fields and so many others that I know.
Missing my friends, extended family, and all the normalcies of life.
The exposure of our racial pandemic and the civil unrest after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
I. Am. Wiped!!!
I feel anger and fear and anxiety and hyper-vigilance. I feel easily annoyed and grouchy. I am forgetful, foggy and fatigued. Concentration, focus and motivation are hard to maintain. Waking up is hard and so is going to sleep & staying asleep.
And because I wasn’t doing a good enough job at taking care of myself, about 2 weeks ago, I started having pain and spasms in my lower back and hips from stress. It took me out of work at my day job and in my BuzzARooney business and in my home. I am still recovering.
I don’t share this for sympathy. I have a spectacular support squad around me. I am doing the work on myself where needed. I am getting intentional rest. I am going to be OK.
I share this because I want you to understand how much we are all individually and collectively dealing with during this pandemic as well as the effect it is having on our minds & bodies.
That’s why it was so important for me, as part of the #ReOpeningAfterRona series, to discuss the collective complex trauma of these events AND to talk about the ways to care for ourselves as we go thru this.
I sat down with my friend and Soror and Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Charnessa Pleasant to discuss this topic in more depth.
“Charlie” Pleasant a LCSW in both Virginia and North Carolina, and the founder and executive clinician of The Healing Collaborative, PLLC, a local private practice in Richmond, Virginia. She has been a practicing clinician for 7 years.
She is an EMDR trained therapist focusing on the mental and emotional wellness of women who are ready to experience a richer quality of life. Charlie works with clients to address underlying issues causing depression, anxiety, and emotional distress. Charlie is also a NASW certified clinical supervisor for new MSW graduates and works with other practicing clinicians as they offer their gifts of healing.
Charlie graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and holds two Masters from Eastern Michigan University in Social Work and Women and Gender Studies. Prior to transitioning into her career in mental health and wellness, she enjoyed a fulfilling career in Higher Education for more than 15 years. It was while serving in these capacities that Charlie developed her passion for supporting women with regards to their emotional health and wellness.
I have known Charlie since 1999 when she crossed those burning sands into Delta Sigma Theta land alongside me. Her at VCU and me at University of Richmond. Our campuses were only about 20 mins away from each other so our 2 chapters were constantly owt together at events and supporting each other and we became more than Sorors, we became friends. She is a wonderful human and I love her and I’m so glad to have had this conversation with her about radical self-care during COVID-19.
We dive deep into:
I hope you will take time to watch the entire video of our conversation — and take notes!
Listen to the conversation on the Leading In Color podcast