Mental Health: Taking Care of Yourself & Loved Ones

There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty in today’s immigration enforcement environment. Not knowing what you can expect for your future, or the futures of your family and friends, is stressful. Even as you may be experiencing anxiety, you can simultaneously be connecting to community or family members in ways that produce resiliency and joy. It is important to recognize that joy and love can coexist with stress and anxiety, and all of these feelings are valid. The information below provides tips for managing the emotional and spiritual well-being of yourself and others.

  • Build a support network. Feelings of shame and guilt can often accompany depression or anxiety and make us feel isolated. Don’t be afraid to lean on the trusted people in your life–friends, family members, teachers, coworkers– when you are feeling low. Chances are you are not alone in your feelings, and asking and listening to one another without judgement can help you and your community feel more connected and heard.
  • Do an activity you enjoy. “Self-care” can be as small as doing a hobby that brings us happiness and makes us feel good about ourselves. If you need ideas, try going for a walk with a friend, journaling, or an activity you loved when you were younger. Choosing to spend your time doing an activity you enjoy when you are feeling stressed or down can give you a sense of control over your situation. You deserve access to love and joy.
  • Take a few deep breaths. Breathing slowly and deeply sends a message to our brain to calm down and ease tension in our body. Try the 4-7-8 breathing method. Breathe in slowly while counting to 4. Hold your breath and count to 7 in your head. Breathe all the air out of your lungs for a count of 8. Repeat 7-10 times.

Population: Refugee and Immigrants

Links to resources:

  • Read the full article “Mental Health: Taking Care of Yourself & Loved Ones” on
  • Access the Mental Health Toolkit.
  • Learn more on anxiety, depression and stress in children.
  • Learn more on resilience and coping methods for immigrants and refugees on Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center.
  • Learn more about

Date: 2019.