Dealing With Stress After DACA
With the direction of immigration policy and the fate of DACA up in the air, it’s understandable why so many dreamers feel outrage, uncertainty, fear, and even hopelessness right now. It’s hard to hear someone say “Stay positive! Things will get better!” during times of extreme uncertainty, but It’s important to take care of your mental health. We’ve put together a few resources that can help you work through things in a healthy, positive way.
Learn to identify the things causing you stress:
Anxiety and stress triggers vary from person to person. It’s important to pay attention to your body and your thoughts as these are the two major indicators that something’s causing you stress. If you feel anger, anxiety, fear, or if you’re having trouble sleeping, name the stress causer and try to remove yourself from it.
Here are a couple common stress triggers:
- The News Cycle– The news cycle tends to be negative, and following it too closely can lead to mental state that mirrors the “doom and gloom” that the news often projects. Step away from it if you start feeling anxious or angry.
- People (even your friends!) – People—and yes your friends, family, and loved ones, too—can be a source of stress! If someone’s being insensitive, or saying things that hurt you, try to forget their negativity and turn to an activity that makes you happy no matter what, or a person who you can always trust to bring you comfort.
Once you’ve identified your stress triggers, here are some healthy ways to cope:
- Exercise – Giving your body the physical release it needs is critical. It can be extremely difficult to motivate yourself to get out there and move around, especially when you’re depressed, but even basic exercises at home to get your heart rate up daily can do wonders for your mental health.
- Try taking up meditation or journaling – Meditating is a simple, therapeutic activity. It’s as simple as sitting calmly and clearing your mind of all thoughts while focusing on your breathing. Then you can jot down your thoughts in your journal to help you process how you’re feeling and how those feelings change over time.
- Talk to a friend or listen to a podcast – Nothing provides relief quite like venting to a close friend about the things that have been bothering you lately. Similarly, podcasts are kind of like being there with friends talking about things, but you don’t have to talk, you can just sit there and listen!
And take advantage of these resources:
- United We Dream Migrawatch Hotline: 1-844-363-1423 – to get help if someone that
you know is in deportation proceedings or to report ICE activity in your community.
- The NALEO Educational Fund toll-free, bilingual hotline, 844-411-DACA, provides
“real-time” information and referrals to legal resources in our communities. Hotline’s
hours are 11:00 am – 8:00 pm EDT.