Self-Care for Activists

I won’t be marching in D.C. or NYC. That’s torn me up inside a little bit. I’m missing a piece of history, and I also feel rudderless, spineless, and toothless. Here’s the thing, though: that feeling? That’s sadness. That’s anger. It has nothing to do me and everything to do with what’s happening this weekend.

That feeling is totally valid, though, and we need to listen to ourselves. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We cannot care for our ailing nation if we ourselves are worn down. 

Here’s my list of things to keep in my back pocket to be doing to feel present and to care for myself this weekend (and in the future, ’cause this is the long haul). Please feel free to steal any/all ideas.

  • Go to a museum. A ton of them are free on Inauguration Day.
  • Join a mailing list that sends out action alerts (I love re:act ), and do what you can.
  • Become a member of a non-profit you care about (like NARAL or ACLU). Many offer webinars or other action items.
  • Make sure you eat properly. That means normal food, and plenty of fluids. Especially if you have a cold (like right now).
  • Make art that makes you feel like a badass (I’ve been cross-stitching feminist heroines and might take on some of these slogans next)
  • Read a good book. If you’re feelin’ political, I like this list a lot. If you’re not, this is the perfect time to crack the spine of that pile of psychological thrillers you consume like candy.
  • Make Hillary Clinton’s chocolate chip cookies. Eat some, and share.
  • Go to the gym and pound. it. out. Not because of the cookies, but because it’ll feel good. A walk is a good alternative.
  • Read some great investigative journalism on ProPublica. The Center for Investigative Reporting has an amazing podcast called Reveal, and it’s not all about politics.
  • Pin or bookmark this resistance manual  to peruse, even if you can’t face it today.
  • Check out self-care resources. This free calendar is a great way to start; it feels good to have something solid to do every day.
  • Make a playlist of totally danceable music and knock yourself out. There are lots of feminist  playlists if you’re feeling frisky. You’ll want to save this playlist for future days of crisis.
  • Go see a movie. If you go before noon at the AMC, it’s only $8. I saw FENCES this morning and it made me so happy/sad.
  • Go out and buy a bunch of magazines (a mix of good journalism and good gossip is perfect), run a bath, light some candles, make some tea, and spend the afternoon.
  • If you can’t march in person, join the Disability March.
  • Find your nearest swing district and resolve to help “swing left” in 2018.
  • Write. Make a list like this for yourself. Finish the sentence “I feel…” until you can finish it with “better.”
  • Practice meditation. Apps are great for this. I like Headspace.
  • Do whatever Patton Oswalt says, especially this:

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