We are barely over 100 days into the Trump presidency, and even harder, a Republican controlled congress. There are numerous things to be upset about: attacks on minorities, attacks on the working class, tax breaks for the wealthy, reduced protections for vulnerable populations, and don’t even get me started on the AHCA that just got passed in the House.
I was already struggling with my frustrations. I felt like I was expending all of this energy and getting no where. I was slightly annoyed that people like to be on Facebook and complain, but you can’t get them to show up to an event. I felt like I was trying SO hard, and for nothing.
I heard one woman say to me, “Good luck with that!” when we were talking about our small activist group trying to make ground on issues that matter to us. Here I was talking to what I perceived as an ally and I was getting a message I perceived as “you’re wasting your time.”
I’m not sure what gave me my moment of clarity, but I remembered that fundamentally I believe everyone is doing the best that they can. Admittedly some people’s best really sucks, but me judging and complaining about them accomplishes nothing. A quick little vent session can be good for the soul, but eventually we must move on and point ourselves in the direction WE want to go.
And it’s not like I don’t vent concerns or express doubts to others. I am not, nor can I, showing up to every event – not even half of the events! Everything that was annoying me from others, were really reflections of some my own personal feelings and actions (Carl Jung is in his grave going, “duh!”).
So how do we recharge when we’re so frustrated? There are so many ways – both simple and complex – but in the end they all come down to SELF CARE. Lately I’ve been telling people, “Self care is my favorite way to fight the patriarchy.” And it’s true! Below is a brainstormed list of things that could be used to recharge, to provide self care. Not everything on the list will speak to you – they don’t all speak to me! – but hopefully it will give you some ideas, and at least a reminder that we all need self care.
- Bubble bath
- Epsom salt bath
- Essential oil on your wrist or behind your ears
- Escape into a good book
- Playing with your family/friends
- Night out with friends/family
- Pajamas and a movie on the couch
- Exercise session
- Walking in nature
- Playing at a park
- Creating – writing, painting, drawing, crocheting, etc.
- Music – a concert or even just a good playlist at home
- A good night’s sleep (or a mid-day nap)
- Making a gratitude list
- Take a break from news
- Take a break from social media
There are so many ways to stop and recharge, and this is such an important part of our ability to keep caring and to keep giving our time and energy. Many of the things we are asked to do right now require us to step outside our comfort zone – and that means we will need each other, but also that we will need to come with full cups from which to pour from.
So I’m doing my best to remember to recharge, step away when I need to, and come back so I can keep on keeping on.