Every once in a while, I look at the things I do, and I get overwhelmed just thinking about them.
I look at the people I admire, my friends, partners in solidarity, activists, and am blown away by the time and energy spent to make our world a little bit better.
Generally, I don’t love being overwhelmingly busy, as it becomes…well, overwhelming. But lots of jobs don’t help us work toward building a world we dream about, and doing social justice work often doesn’t pay the bills (or requires 2-3 jobs to make a decent living).
I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care lately, and reading about it. Truthfully, this is an area I feel most activists struggle with; there is so much work to be done, and there are so many people who seem never to tire, or get sad, or have to let something go so they can pay their bills. It’s easy to talk down to ourselves, or feel less than. It’s easy to keep pushing, and forget that if we push too hard now, the long-term will actually be unachievable.
Most of my self-care breaks come when I get physically sick, or when I’m too exhausted to get out of my bed, or find motivation to complete the tasks I’ve set for myself. I am working on taking time and space before a breakdown, to work better long term, by maybe doing a bit less in the short term.
In that spirit, I’d love to hear your stories about self-care, or the strategies you use to replenish and recharge.
My personal favorites are spending time with my dog, hiking outside, being by the water, reading a novel, and baking.
Lots of music can help us keep pushing, and replenish our commitment and energy. Off With Their Heads does this tune, Focus on Your Own Family (lyrics here), that asks us to keep pushing, even when things are tough.
Today, take some time to care for yourself, so we can continue building the world of our dreams.