I don’t know if this article by blogger Mirah Curzer lists the four best ways to take care of ourselves in these hard political times, but her suggestions are darn good, and the whole topic is an important one.
If progressives are about anything, we’re about strengthening community and working together for the common good. That taking-care must start with ourselves individually and with the others who are fighting the good fight with us. Despair and burnout are enemies as real and dangerous as Scott Walker and Dianne Hendricks.
Curzer has four suggestions, all of which seem sensible to me.
- Don’t get used to Trump or his Administration. Don’t dwell on every new day’s new outrage. We know he’s bad; we know he’s up to no good. You don’t need to read the news every day or memorize every detail of every outrage.
- Focus your energy on one or two issues. Don’t actively undermine others’ passions or insist that everyone share yours. But do develop a focused area of expertise where you can stay on top of the issues, understand the short- and long-term strategy and track progress.
- Make activism fun. Take time to make friends. Laugh, sing, chat, and flirt while you’re marching or whatever. I’ll add: and allow activism to be fun for others. I’ve been in too many gatherings where someone’s need for commiseration has led them to do nothing but recite an endless inventory of Walker’s or Trump’s outrages, building more despair that camaraderie.
- Take care of the basics. Pace yourself. Get enough sleep and exercise. Take grapes, not doughnuts, for meeting snacks.