Self-Care for Activists*
“This is not going to be an easy four years. . . (they) are going to be emotionally exhausting and deeply traumatic for all of us, but particularly to those dedicated to protecting the vulnerable and preserving democracy.” THAT’S YOU; THAT’S US.
We need to learn new strategies --or else burn out in the first six months.
1. Don’t get used to Trump—Get away from him.
We don’t have to live in a constant state of anxiety and anger. When it gets to be too much, it’s okay to unplug for a bit. Play with your dog; go to yoga; take a walk; binge watch Netflix; take a vacation. And don’t feel guilty when you do. Spend a significant amount of time not thinking about Trump—he’ll still be there when you plug back in.
2. Focus your energy on one or two issues.
You, individually, can’t show up to every march, write letters and make calls on every issue. AND, not every job has to be done by you—even if you are the best person for the job. This will not make you a bad activist or a weak person. As a group we will get the jobs done.
3. Make activism fun!
Humor does have a place in activism—be creative. Then go out for a drink or a meal after the rally or meeting. Socialize. Laugh, sing, chat on the phone. If you are not enjoying yourself as an activist, make some new plans.
4. Take care of the basics . . .
• Get enough sleep. If this is the only thing you do for yourself, this should be it.
• It’s okay to go to therapy—or talk to your friends.
• Go to the doctor . . . and the dentist.
• Spend time with friends and people who love you, doing fun stuff.
• Get some alone-time: read a book, watch a movie, get outside, take a walk.
• Eat well—healthy, yes, but it can be delicious food that makes you happy.
• Make your bed—and other small, normal things.
• Call your grandchildren.
I BELIEVE I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE . . .
. . . and take care of myself.
*Drawn from #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind-The Coffeelicious