“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths. ” – Etty Hillesum
Every day we turn on the news, listen to the radio, check our social media feeds. And every day, we are bombarded with negativity. Important things, yes, but they’re weighty, nonetheless. We get handed bricks of negativity by hearing what else has happened today with our president, and his administration. Russia and collusion? Brick. Racially motived assaults and homicides. Brick, brick. Bricks get added, all day, every day, to the load we have to carry, and it can become really heavy.
I know that many of us want to be helpful. We want to engage in protests, we want to actively resist. We don’t want to ever back down, and we want to be able to stand against a corrupt government, fearlessly.
The only problem is that we often aren’t taking any time for ourselves. Whether it’s because we feel guilty taking a mental health day, or we feel like we can’t afford to “miss” anything, or any of a number of reasons; too many of us aren’t practicing self-care.
Activist Burnout is a very real thing, and can dramatically affect your quality of life, as well as your relationships, employment, education, et cetera.”So, how do I practice self-care?” The truth is, it’s different for everyone, and what works for one person won’t work for another. Try a few things, and find what works best for you. Here are some ideas to help get you started:
- Relaxing music (here are a few examples; again, pick what works best for you)
- Find a therapist
- Find a local art school or community center, and enroll in a course on:
- Creative Writing
- Salsa/Swing/Ballroom dance
- Have a weekly “date” with your friends
- “Unplug” from all social media for 24 hours, minimum
- Spend a weekend binge watching a show on Netflix
You get my point here. In this resistance, we need you. We need you whole, happy, and healthy, both mentally and physically.
If you’ve reached a level of stress that can’t be alleviated by any of the above listed things, or something similar, you may need to seek professional guidance.
Good luck everyone, and take care of yourselves!