Self-care for Activists

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Destiniee Jaram | Society Staff Writer | dj395016@ohio.edu

The typical week for a college student is hectic. Between class, working, clubs and meetings, the extra duties of an activist are not easy. Chronic stress can manifest into unhealthy physical and emotional symptoms. Examples include feelings of worthlessness, poor digestion, excessive or a lack of sleep, eating problems, depression, muscle tension and exhaustion. At times, it feels like the world is a constant stream of negativity, thus it can be easy to forget self-care.

It is critical to remember that self-care is not a selfish act. “No” is not a dirty word. In order to deliver and perform successfully in all arenas of life, feeling well, being rested, and taking care of the body must be a top-priority. Self-care is personal.  FANGLE is here to help with a list of self-care ideas for the everyday activist.

Therapy

Therapy is an essential tool for anyone, but it is especially important to utilize for an activist. Therapy can provide tools to deal with emotions in a healthy way and can also give new perspectives on personal relationships.

Venting

Venting is a great opportunity to relieve stress. Go outside and scream, or vent to friends or a therapist. Another option is to create art. This does not mean diving into another project, but opening some paint and let any emotions take over by venting onto the canvas. This is a healthy and productive way to remove negativity from the body.

Body Positivity

Celebrate and love yourself by creating time in your day to appreciate your body. Cut or dye your hair, get a piercing or get a tattoo! Body modifications can be a unique way to feel back in control of the body.

Senses

Studies have shown that activities that involve the senses can help with anxiety and depression. Pet an animal, take a warm bath, have consensual sex with someone or go for a run. All of these activities can release serotonin and dopamine, your body’s natural stress reliever!

Ground Yourself

Go outside and take a walk and pay attention to nature, or let your mind drift about thinking of nothing. Connecting to nature is a great way to disconnect from society. Meditation, another great option, can reduce inflammations in the body caused by stressed. Find a quiet place, relax, for 5-15 minutes, breathe, and repeat a mantra.

Fuck Toxic “Friends”

Remove people that are harmful because having these people around will only perpetuate feelings of being frustrated and burnt out. Repeat this statement: “I am pleasurable to be around. I deserve mutual respect. I am going to establish boundaries with those around me.”

Do Nothing

It is important to take breaks. Watch a movie or read a book. FANGLE recommends Skins, Gossip Girl, and Kill Bill: Volume 1. Learning to set limits and say no is not a bad thing. Removing social media and turning off the news for a week or even a day can have a serious impact on focusing energy on better things.

An activist’s job never ends, but performing self-care doesn’t have to be arduous or feel like an added daily task. Find what feels good and works for you!

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