Take care of your mental health
It is all too easy to wake up everyday and check your phone to see what chaos erupted overnight. While remaining vigilant is key, so is your mental health. It is more important than ever to be self-aware of your mental limitations and the toll the political ongoings are taking on yourself. For some, this may mean going to therapy on a regular basis to talk to someone. For others, this may mean attending a regular yoga or kickboxing class as an outlet for your anger. Our fight and our drive is only as strong as our will. While taking care of others, don’t forget to self-evaluate and also take care of yourself.
Create a community of likeminded activists
There are more resources than ever before that can be used to find people and groups whose goals align with your own. While it is impossible to take on any one of these fights individually, combining forces can feel powerful and stress-relieving. In doing so you may also find an outlet for your thoughts, a sounding board for your grand activist plans, and other’s who can help mobilize your efforts. Collaboration is key in this fight and finding people with similar goals can take some of that daily pressure off of you. Not to mention, if you cannot make an event, having someone within your community who can attend will ease that activist guilt of yours.
Do your research
One of the best forms of activism is education. To avoid making some of the same mistakes we have in the past, it is important to learn from our history – both as a country and as a political system. Without sounding like your elementary school teacher – education can be fun! There are many documentaries, books, and resources that can expand your activism knowledge without draining you. My personal favorite is the recent Netflix documentary “13th” by Ava Duvernay, which explores the relationship between the systemic racism within our judicial and our privatized prison systems. The documentary is both educational and well-rounded including interviews with Newt Gingrich and Angela Davis.
Schedule your activism
Between events on Facebook and newsletters flooding your inbox, there are many protests, town halls, meetings with representatives, and other events to attend. Do not feel pressure to do them all. Discuss with your community the best ways to divide and conquer, and if you need to – stay home and take a nap. Just remember that if you support issues that directly affect your rights then it is more important than ever to also be in attendance for those that affect others you support. After the massive turnout for the Million Woman March, there was a lot of valid concern that those same women would not be in attendance for Black Lives Matter marches or LGBTQ marches. While keeping your schedule in mind, also make sure to support any and all causes that come under attack – we are all on the same team.
When all else fails – be kind
No one can fight a battle as huge as this one everyday, and that’s okay. On days when you need to take a break, avoid the news, or simply pretend like Trump is not the President, I recommend navigating your community with a little more kindness than usual. Help someone with directions, pay for a stranger’s coffee, pay attention and make someone else’s day a little easier. You never know what battle someone is fighting, whether internally or externally. And sometimes, being kind does more for you than the receiver, because it reminds us that the little things can restore even just a little bit of your faith.