When Self Care Is More Important Than Ever

The strain of a grueling general election campaign last year has failed to let up for many people. In fact, judging by comments I hear every day, the political climate in the country is creating such fear and tension that many feel emotionally exhausted.... and worry that it is only going to get worst. While none of us know exactly what the next four years will have in store for us, we do have control over how we take care of ourselves. Now more than ever we need to use tried and tested strategies to ensure we don't burn out. As blogger Mirah Curzer put it: "while it's obvious and mundane, we have to take care of the basics." Exercise, getting enough sleep, talking (venting) to friends, eating well, and getting outside are the mainstays of self care. If we overlook some of these when things are going well, so be it. But, when we hear news every day that upsets us, it's crucial that we double down on these basics. If you are energized by activism, that's great. But make sure you don't get stretched so thin that you stop taking care of yourself. There will be plenty of demands for your time and energy. Curzer suggests picking one or two issues that you are passionate about and focusing on them. Try to make them fun. Whenever possible, bring humor into your activism, and commit to doing small things frequently. This way commitments don't seem so overwhelming when other areas of life get really busy. And finally, know when to take a real break. In other words, when things get too much, unplug for a while. Turn off the news feeds, stop refreshing Twitter, take a vacation from FaceBook. Get distracted by other things - go to the movies, binge watch Netflix, take the dog for a real long walk, get into nature, go to yoga. You'll feel refreshed and ready to face another day - whatever that may bring.