Thursday, September 21, 2017
The Upstander

How to Resist Without Burning Out

Clementine Havemeyer March 16, 2017 Opinion Comments Off on How to Resist Without Burning Out
Caring for one another

It’s been fifty days since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

In that time, he has kick-started the process of dismantling the administrative state, fired multiple staffers for reasons ranging from defiance to espionage, given the green light to oil pipelines that will cause irrevocable damage to the environment and indigenous peoples, has harmed the country’s standing internationally, launched attacks on Muslims, women, people of color and immigrants, not to mention the fiasco of Trumpcare, which could see 24 million Americans lose their insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

With American democracy — and the American Dream — hanging by a thread, the Anti-Trump “resistance” has responded ferociously. Angry citizens have shown up to the nation’s airports, town hall meetings, churches, LGBTQ centers, schools and sidewalks to protest this encroaching fascism.

But I have a confession to make: I’m tired.

The continuous cycle of outrage towards Trump and his administration is affecting my emotional and physical well-being.

And I’m not alone: at a recent resistance meeting in New York, 45 minutes were dedicated to self-care. Resistance members offered their own advice for coping with the mental and emotional challenges of enduring the ongoing roll out of the Trump agenda, from therapy to yoga; Netflix to sex.

Whatever it takes, the resistance must not grow tired, or grow complacent. Otherwise we will lose the fight.

Here are my top tips to avoid burnout:

  • Take breaks: is a handy calendar of all the events and protests taking place in New York City, but with multiple events listed every day, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If you feel close to burning out, take a day off. Take two. Take the weekend. Take as much time as you need. Then come back and join us on the front line.
  • Get offline: With Donald Trump’s attacks coming in from all sides, it feels important to be plugged into news and social media, but the constant cycle of outrage on Facebook and other sites could be detrimental to your mental health. If you feel like Facebook is killing your soul, log off for a few hours, or download an application that limits your daily social media usage. It’ll be there when you get back.
  • Be selective: Choose ONE issue to focus on. You probably want to stand up and fight for every single group that Trump targets, which is commendable, but not feasible. If you feel overwhelmed, pick one issue to pour your efforts into.
  • Go to an alternative resistance event: Resistance can be fun! There are plenty of events being organized by groups in New York that aim to entertain or heal, which provide a welcome break from yelling and chanting. Check out or organize one yourself.
  • Stay social: Invite your friends around for dinner, and ban Trump as a topic of conversation.

If you have any other nuggets of advice for self-care, sound off in the comments below.


Photo Credit: Fibonacchi Blue/Flickr (CC 2.0 BY-SA)

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