Coping with Trayvon pain: 10 ways to heal

By TERRIE M. WILLIAMS | 7/18/2013, 3:50 p.m. | Updated on 7/18/2013, 3:50 p.m.

6) Get moving. Go to the gym or for a run or walk. Exercise releases tension and helps turn frustration into feeling constructive. A friend of mine just walked 10 miles to process her emotions about Martin. She left her house feeling angry and returned feeling renewed and resolved.

7) Shake a hand, make a friend. Make eye contact with someone passing by, smile and say “hello.” You may be the first person who made such a gesture toward them today. Many of us are walking around in need of love, support and communion with our fellow man, and tragedies make that even more critical.

8) Give back. Honor Martin’s memory by committing a few hours a week to volunteer with teens in your neighborhood. Affirm the worth of the young people in your community and let them know that they are valuable, loved and supported.

9) Fight the power. Channel your rage and anguish over the verdict effectively and get involved with local and national efforts to fight for justice for Martin. Participating in rallies and protests will allow you to connect with others who are feeling the same way as you, but don’t stop there. If you aren’t already, get politically engaged! Hold politicians accountable and help your friends and family do the same.

10) Say “I love you.” Tomorrow is never promised and there are two grieving parents in the spotlight who will never have the chance to put their arms around their beloved son again. In the midst of our anguish over the loss of a child most of us never met, we must remember to show love to the people in our lives right now while we can.

Terrie M. Williams is a mental health activist and the author of “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @terriewilliams.