Navigating Mental Well-being Amidst Kenya’s Ongoing Protests

Navigating Mental Well-being Amidst Kenya’s Ongoing Protests

The Kenya Finance Bill protests, widely recognized by the hashtag #RejectFinanceBill2024, have sparked a series of ongoing decentralized mass demonstrations across the country. These protests arose in response to proposed tax increases in the Finance Bill 2024, which many Kenyans view as burdensome.

As Kenyans continue to voice their concerns and take to the streets, these events’ emotional and mental toll is significant. Whether actively participating in the protests or observing them through various media channels, the impact on mental well-being is undeniable. In these challenging times, it is crucial to explore ways to manage and maintain our mental health amidst the turmoil.

Here are some practical tips that can help you support your mental well-being before, during, and after protests:

Practice Deep Breathing: Engage in simple breathing exercises to calm your nervous system. Try inhaling slowly through your nose for four counts, holding for two counts, and exhaling through your nose for six counts.

Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to physical signals from your body. If you feel tired, take time to rest. Ensure you are eating properly and staying hydrated to maintain your energy levels.

Acknowledge Your Emotions: Recognize and accept the wide range of emotions you may be experiencing. Journaling can help you process these feelings and gain better emotional clarity.

Stay Connected: Contact friends and family to share your thoughts and feelings. Open conversations with trusted individuals can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.

Take Screen Breaks: Limit your exposure to distressing news and social media. Allocate time each day to disconnect from digital devices and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation.

Get Quality Sleep: Ensure you get a good night’s sleep to be well-rested and energized

Seek Professional Help: If managing your emotions becomes too challenging, don’t hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional. Therapy can provide valuable support and coping strategies during these difficult times.

Engage in Physical Activity: Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve your mood. Even a short walk can have significant benefits for your mental well-being.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation: Mindfulness and meditation practices can help you stay present and reduce anxiety. Find a quiet space and spend a few minutes focusing on your breath or a calming mantra.

Set Boundaries: It’s important to know your limits and set boundaries. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give yourself permission to step back and take a break from the protests and related activities.

Find Supportive Communities: Connect with groups or organizations that share your concerns. Being part of a supportive community can provide a sense of belonging and mutual encouragement.

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can better support your mental well-being while continuing to advocate for the changes you believe in during the #RejectFinanceBill2024 protests. Practising self-care and seeking support are vital in maintaining our mental health and sustaining our advocacy efforts. Remember, taking care of yourself is not a sign of weakness but a crucial step in the fight for justice and equality.