Fighting social injustice is difficult and necessary work. But sometimes you just need a break. And that’s okay. Stopping to rest is not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation. It’s what allows each of us more emotional space to show up and stay motivated for the long haul, which is what creating real change requires. Here are a few ways our Rae team is checking in with ourselves as we do what we can to fight the good fight and support our community.
Start with the simple stuff
Did I drink enough water? Did I eat today? How much sleep did I get? When was the last time I did something just for me? Self-care doesn’t have to mean a day at the spa (but it can!). It might just call for a shower and a walk, reading for pleasure or listening to music. If you’re feeling spent, try addressing the simple, everyday stuff first and go from there.
Make a self-care plan
As activist and co-founder of Awaken Michelle Kim points out, by the time you realize you need self-care, you may not have the energy to think about what might do the trick. She suggests creating a “self-care toolbox”—a list of simple things you can do for yourself. Need inspiration? Check out her list of 51 things. Or try these resting strategies.
Find your pace
Creating social change is no small feat, and it’s easy to feel like you have to do all the things, all the time. Or worse, paralyzed as you struggle with where to begin. When it starts to feel like a lot, do a little. Break your efforts down into simple, actionable tasks. Read a book that focuses on social change. (Here’s one that tops our list.) Sign a petition. Donate. Drop off supplies at a protest site. This way you can take a step back while still doing things that make a difference.
Take a break from scrolling
We all know we need to stay well-informed, but too much news is guaranteed to stress you out—especially if you’re part of a marginalized community. Before you fall down the rabbit hole that is Instagram, Facebook or the 42 open news tabs on your computer, consider where you’re at in your day. Are you about to go to sleep? Have you had your morning coffee? You don’t have to turn it all off, but consider consuming more carefully to help channel your energy.
We’d love to hear how you’re looking out for yourself while fighting for social change. Share your advice, tips or general musings in the comments. Or find us on Instagram @raeforwellness.