The Resistance can’t happen without self-care.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re someone who cares deeply about the rights of women and girls under attack by Donald Trump and his allies. Thank you for your activism and solidarity – and for knowing when you need to take a breather.
It is so important to recognize your own mental, physical, and emotional state – especially in times like these. We know firsthand that fighting bigotry and injustice takes a lot of energy. So does keeping up with round-the-clock news alerts about the latest White House scandals. It’s easy to neglect your own wants and needs when you’re fighting for something you are passionate about.
But resistance does not always have to be exhausting! Self-care is important for your mental well-being and your overall health, especially if you’re dealing with tough life challenges in addition to the current political climate.
Practicing self-care is not selfish or inconsiderate; it’s about protecting your mental and physical health when the weight on your shoulders becomes too heavy. This is completely normal. Audre Lorde said it best, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
This kind of care is provided for you, and by you. This starts by knowing what you need to be happy and taking the steps to fulfill it. And it doesn’t have to cost a dime!
Here are my favorite quick tips for practicing self-care:
Give your body comfort. Your body is with you every step of the way, including when you’re engaging in any form of activism, so take care of it. Whether it’s lounging in perfect stay-in sweats, wearing your fave pair of shoes, or melting into some plush blankets, put your mind and body at ease by keeping yourself comfortable whenever possible.
Unplug and unwind. While your phone is charging, please give your mind a recharge too! Give your eyes and emotions a break from news alerts, Twitter, and Facebook every so often. Don’t worry about missing something– we’ve got you covered.
Get creative. Draw, paint, or sing at the top of your lungs. Dance like no one is watching. There are so many beautiful things in the world that Trump can’t spoil – so don’t let him. You can also de-stress by writing or reading. (I’m currently glued to a book called Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, a woman of color whose poetry speaks volumes.)
Get outside and move. Clear your mind of negativity by going for a walk or jog. You need those feel-good endorphins that exercising can provide to tackle anxiety or stress. Meditation is also extremely helpful to put yourself at ease. I personally love lifting weights because …. news flash: women can have muscles, too!
Spend time with loved ones. In our Resistance, you have a network of support and love. Be open to reach out to those who make you happy–especially when it sometimes feels like everything is terrible.
Keep on fighting side-by-side with us, but remember that resistance requires sustenance. Even the strongest fighters need time to catch their breath. You deserve it.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month. If you ever feel alone or like you’re slipping into a dark place, do not be afraid to reach out to someone you trust or seek professional help. If you or someone you know is considering self-harm, please call 1-800-273-8255 or visit the International Suicide Prevention wiki for more identity- and community-specific resources.