The solution to chronic stress is not individual Psychology

I’m a big proponent of self-care and other individual tools that we teach as mental health professionals.

Yet I’m also acutely aware of its limitations.

I think of people back in Manila now who are feeling rage and helplessness over the rising COVID cases.

I think of our Asian American community who’s feeling fear due to the lack of safety.

I think of the people of Myanmar who are witnessing, on a daily basis, death, and political violence.

The relationship between social-political issues and mental health problems is complex.

Context, culture, economic status, political climate, situatedness — these factors are important.

We get to be compassionate with ourselves and know that feeling stressed is not always our fault.

Yes, we get to continue practicing self-care, more than ever. Radical self-compassion is needed.

Yet we can not stop fighting for what is right at a systematic and societal level.

The solution to chronic stress is not individual Psychology.

Systematic change is.

Political change is.

Community support is.