Mental Health Awareness Month is a time to reflect on what it means to live mindfully and take inventory on how our thoughts dictate our behavior. This also marks an important opportunity to take a temperature check on how we’ve handled an extremely challenging 2020 that’s resulted in major life changes and subsequently, new ways to cope.
According to data in a new Nielsen report, Black families may be over consuming television as a way to self-soothe after a tumultuous year.
The findings are in The New Black Family Culture: Navigating Crisis Through Content, released this spring. The report’s data underscores there was a significant uptick in the amount of Black families that utilize television as entertainment and a critical source for news to help educate themselves about the social injustice that the country is facing.
It also pulled back the curtain on more concerning data as well. Since the pandemic hit, 26% of African American families have spent their time utilizing streaming content to escape negative news consumption. With the lack of social interaction, families are spending more time bonding at home and engaging one another through televisions and movies.
Essentially, now more than ever Black American families are feeling the need to utilize methods of escapism to cope with the harsh realities of being a part of a racially oppressed group in the US.
What is Escapism?
The American Psychology Association defines escapism as the tendency to escape from the real world to the safety and comfort of a fantasy world. Since life is innately stressful, coping strategies are essential to making it through each day.
Escapism can be a coping skill when used positively; however, to ignore reality completely can be concerning.
Professionals advise that individuals get regular exercise, fresh air and a balanced diet to avoid falling into the pitfalls of unhealthy escapist tactics.