Self-care is important for activism and personal well-being because you can’t engage in activism successfully if you are neglecting your own personal needs.
“If you’re riding in an airplane and the oxygen masks deploy, you want to put your own on before you put on someone else’s mask. If you pass out while attempting to put someone else’s mask on, then you aren’t taken care of and neither are they. It is really important to take care of yourself first so that you can help others second.”
Self-care is particularly important when dealing with issues like those that follow, which are unfortunately a part of many activists’ experiences.
- Internet Arguments
Controversial statuses, articles, pictures and overall posts that cause conflict that you either choose to engage in or choose not to engage in.
- Friendship based Micro-aggressions
Someone close to you says a micro-aggression (that’s so gay, he only got into Harvard because he was black, she’s such a slut, etc.) without the intention of hurting you or even with the intention of passive-aggressively hurting you
- Micro-aggressions non-friendship based
Someone you are not friends with says a micro-aggression with or without the intention of hurting you (Something a faculty member or classmate might say, thus creating an unsafe space)
- Direct Insults
Someone somewhere who is or isn’t your friend says something directly insulting (racist/sexist/misogynistic/transphobic/homophobic etc.)
- Media influenced
This can include: movies, music videos, various social media articles etc. Something is posted on social media, a movie/music video comes out, various articles etc. that are triggering to a wide variety
- Activism and Advocacy
Whether you’re organizing, mobilizing, protesting or engaging in any kind of activist/advocacy work, self-care is an absolute necessity.
If you’re researching something, some of the results that come up can be potentially triggering. Self-care after research would be helpful for better research and researching abilities.
Healthy Eating, Mindfulness, Be Good to Yourself
Physical Fitness and Immunity, Time Management, Avoid Compassion
Reducing Stress, Assertiveness ,Fatigue
Authors’ Self-Care Activities:
Caitlyn: “Binge watch TV and surround myself with friends.”
Lindsay: “Bubble baths, yoga, journaling, and reading a great book with an even better cup of tea.”
Sophia: “Eat pasta, take baths, go for walks, and dance.”
Ann: “I find ways to reconnect with my community and the people who support me. I also really like to hike, read, and go on solo adventures.”
Anthony:“Spending time with my family and playing games like Mario brothers with my nephews and younger brother.”
Skylar: “Bubble baths are my go-to for self-care. I also love spending time with my dog, Riley, and taking long walks with him to escape the stresses in my life.”
Dana:“For self-care I exercise and maintain a healthy, well balanced diet. By doing this I am able to de stress, reevaluate situations, and come up with better ways to approach the problematic situation.”
Gabrielle: “I go on walks, or play video games.”
Alexis: “I relax on my couch, order takeout, and veg.”
Kelly:“For self-care, I watch movies and read marvel comic books. It helps me to get my imagination going, to dream of my own reality where there is a sense of equality and people standing up for what they believe in. I do this to escape so that when I come back to my activism, I can bring the change.”
Katie: “I cook delicious food for myself and friends, read everyday and spend as much time with nature and younger people as possible.”