With COVID running rampant and with no reason to go anywhere any time soon, one needs to keep their mental health intact to maintian a stable life. On Wednesday evening, February 10, the Collegiate 100 Black Women of Southern University presented a virtual event called “When Life Happens,” where they had an open discussion about the most prevalent issues that young black women experience daily. Myisha Jackson, a licensed counselor, says, “A lot of people have been struggling with the pandemic.” During the event, the C100 women were assisted by a panel of other experienced counselors, authors, and advocates on the journey of knowing and caring for themselves better. The experienced professionals offered advice and guidance on topics like anxiety, managing stress, healing from domestic violence, building healthy relationships, and addressing sexual violence.

Before panelists were introduced, the C100 women dropped a link in the Zoom chatbox. It was a game called “Asking for a Friend”. The game allowed students to anonymously ask a licensed counselor about their “hypothetical situations.” They were able to get things off their minds and chests as their responses were sent through Google Forms. Also, in the Zoom chat box, people shared what they were going through and their favorite ways to cope with anxiety and stress. “I hope this is a safe space and you guys can get all the help you need,” said domestic violence counselor Kimberly Spruill to the audience.

As the event continued, all speakers had 20 minutes to give information on certain issues and to convey any advice they had. For instance, a topic discussed were the four types of anxiety: physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive. Swallowing and getting hot-headed is the physical part. Feeling fear, nervousness, and stress is the emotional part. Pacing around and engaging in unhealthy activities is the behavioral part. Having thoughts of the future and different outcomes is a cognitive part. With this knowledge given, students should be able to produce health alternatives to overcome the anxiety.

This virtual event enlightened young women to stop worrying about things they have no control over and to start being okay with it. Fixing your thoughts is a great thing to practice through methods like meditation. The experienced professionals let spectators know to seek rest if you feel you are not on task. We can not retain information if our minds are all over the place. It is beneficial to take deep breaths and get fresh air. Therapy is not really talked about in the Black community. C100 women encouraged students to visit Southern University’s Counseling Center.

This virtual event enlightened young women to stop worrying about things they have no control over and being okay with it. Fixing your thoughts is a great thing to practice like meditation. When dealing with stress it is beneficial to take deep breaths and get fresh air. The experienced professionals let those who participated in the event know to seek rest if you feel that you are not up to a task. As the event came to a close, the panel participants gave some closing remarks. Though therapy is not talked about in the Black community, many colleges offer it and include the cost in the tuition. This is why the C100 women encouraged students to visit Southern University’s Counseling Center.

Although the “When Life Happens” event was mainly about the negatives of stress, students found out that all stress is not bad. It wants to communicate with us. Quiyanna Wilson, a member of the C100 Women of SU stated, “Everyone needs a moment to sit in a car for a moment and even replay some songs.” It is highly suggested that we all use stress, anxiety, and fear as energy. Bring awareness to your thoughts. It has helped many to encourage positive action regarding stressful situations.

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