Self-Care | How to Show Up
Art on sweatshirt by: @crystaldrawsstuff | Photo submitted by: @bryceadavis
How To Sustainably Keep Showing Up
Actively showing up for your community and taking a stand for social justice and civil rights on a daily basis can be an incredibly overwhelming undertaking, one that can leave you feeling depleted and run down, mentally, physically, and emotionally. We often feel that in order to contribute to change and be part of the collective voice, we must give it our all and give it in a relentless active way that keeps up the momentum around the fight for equality. Keeping the momentum going is critical, but thankfully this is a movement composed of so many lovely voices that are committed to showing up and this allows for each person to go at their own sustainable pace.
Time to rest and recover is imperative to activism in so many ways. To put it simply, when you’re not taking care of yourself in a healthy, sustainable way, you don’t have the capacity to contribute your best to the activities and conversations you are needed to participate in. The cause you’re fighting for needs your full support, and that can only be given when you’re taking good care of yourself and meeting your basic needs. Allowing for rest is how we show up fully to the things that matter most in our lives.
There can be many ways exhaustion and burnout can affect us, and they impact everyone differently. Some experience numbness and tend to shut out their emotions, while others feel overstimulated and sensitive. Still others find themselves indecisive and overwhelmed. Regardless of how you’re affected, there’s manageable strategies, starting with the smallest of steps, to getting you back to a healthy and empowered space to continue fighting for justice and standing up for your the rights of those that need caring the most.
Actionable Steps You Can Take Right Now:
The road to social change and equality can feel like an uphill battle, and our mental and physical health can take a backseat to our activism if we don’t prioritize our rest and recovery. Consider mindfully protecting a comfortable and safe-feeling space in your home (or your car or your neighborhood) to sit and decompress. Or consider setting alarms on your phone reminding you to feed yourself every few hours. Or simply, stop reading right now, and give yourself permission to close your eyes and give yourself some warmth and compassion. Remember, every effort you make to care for yourself while fighting for what you believe in will be beneficial to both you and your activism efforts.
Final reminder: Putting your self-care and recovery first is not selfish and doesn’t distract from the issues. It’s essential to being a powerful part of social change! Remind yourself of this often and take the time you need to continue bringing your best to the fight. We’re behind you all the way!