Self care for activists

It’s very hard to say no. When there is so much pain affecting everyone around you it can be almost impossible, but also you can’t go through your whole life triggered. I’ve been doing that more than normal recently, and speaking from experience, it’s not worth it. I’ve been lowkey depressed and ineffective. I’m here to try and give you a bit of a wake up call so you aren’t in the same boat. We have to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of all the shit going on around us. To maybe help with that, Jeremy and I put together some self care recommendations. You are so important and valid and should be as healthy as possible!!

Julia:

  1. Take time away from the world. Take five minutes to just sit with yourself and think. No phone, no email, no to-do lists. Just sit there. Five minutes is a lot longer than you think and it will help you recenter yourself.
  2. Don’t read the news right after getting up. The first thing you do in the morning will set the mood for the day, so make sure it’s something positive.
  3. Don’t read the news right before going to bed. It’s no fun to dream about the news and it’s good to take some time to decompress.
  4. Eat food. Your body needs fuel to keep doing everything you’re doing. If you’re having trouble eating food, try to make sure that what you are putting in your body is good for it. Maybe set a reminder on your phone. Carry snacks.
  5. Sleep. See above. You can’t function without at least a few hours a night.
  6. Get some fiction input. Movies that aren’t documentaries, TV that isn’t the news and books that aren’t intellectual. Balance is key.
  7. You don’t have to be okay all the time. Recognize that. Be vulnerable. It’ll take a huge weight off your shoulders.
  8. Sleep in. Take a weekend day and don’t set an alarm. Wake up naturally and slowly and enjoy it.
  9. Take a day off. Mental health is so important. You won’t be effective if you aren’t present. It’s just like being physically sick.
  10. Ask for help! Again, it’s okay to be vulnerable. The people around you will be happy to give you a hand and if they aren’t, get new friends.
  11. Delegate. It’s not fair to only depend on yourself. It’s also important to realize that you aren’t an expert on everything.
  12. Have a hobby that isn’t related to your work. I’m notorious for this. When people ask what I do for fun, I mention running this blog. As much as I enjoy it, it isn’t a hobby. It’s an extension of my work.
  13. Exercise. Endorphins help you be happier and we all have to be strong to fight fascists.
  14. Go into the woods. Take off your shoes and stand in the dirt. Reconnect with the ground and be still.
  15. Talk to the stars. Ask the universe. Pray if that’s your thing. Meditate. Be mindful.  
  16. Say no. Start small and work your way up. This is a skill and it takes practice.
  17. Be patient. This means with others and with yourself. You are healing. That takes time.

Jeremy:

  1. Write down invasive/distracting thoughts. Clear your headspace
    1. Write down distracting thoughts in a notebook that you can look back at at the end of the day
  2. Schedule yourself and work hours and then reevaluate. Non-negotiable time for yourself
    1. Create a chunk of time and DO NOT NEGOTIATE with your work life for this time
  3. Pomodoro method
    1. This is a study technique that involves a mixture of having a sustained focus period and requires a small mindful break after a set period of time.
  4. Consistent schedule of waking up and going to bed
    1. This just takes out one more thought process before you go to bed. If you don’t have to think about when you have to wake up you can focus more on yourself before bed. The same goes for going to sleep.
  5. Practice mindfulness
  6. Go on a walk!
    1. Going for a walk is a good way to disconnect with responsibilities for a small period of time in the middle of the day. It can be a restart time so that you can complete your responsibilities more efficiently afterward.
  7. Deliberately say no. Start small and work your way up.

Love you all. Stay safe and take care of yourselves.

Every good wish,

Julia and Jeremy

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