Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about self-care. I’m going on vacation soon and I’m having a difficult time focusing on what I need to do in anticipation of leaving. And it occurred to me that I’m not even sure I really know how to relax anymore simply because I’m always plugged in.
In the current climate of crazy politics and outrage, there doesn’t seem to be an opportunity for doing anything but paying close attention to and constantly feeling outrage over everything going on in the world.
Sure, you can unplug for a couple of hours, but when you plug back in there’s the inevitable dread of what has happened in the short span of time you’ve been away—because you know that something has happened. A talking comb-over is in the White House—something has happened.
It seems as if there’s never any time to stop, take a deep breath, and collect yourself to figure out what the heck you’re going to do next. There is just the feeling of being constantly frazzled and playing catch-up.
We all just need to stop it.
It’s easy to feel paralyzed and powerless by the sheer amount of awful that seems to be racing through our country right now, but burnout is real. And I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling burned out. It’s in these moments that I can take some small comfort from the fact that I’m not alone—it’s easy to see how tired everyone else is, too. We all need to give ourselves permission to take a break now and then.
Taking a step away doesn’t mean you’re deserting the movement. When you’re too tired to act, then you can send money. If you don’t have money to send, then you can send kind words. Take some respite in these small acts of kindness and opposition and hold on to them, because you have to dig deep and keep moving forward. We all do.
Take comfort in knowing that while it may seem like an uphill battle against the forces of evil (I’m talking to you, Paul Ryan), there are far more Americans who are on our side. There are far more Americans disgusted by the sight of the Nazi flag than there are Americans who fly it proudly. There are far more Americans who believe in a woman’s right to choose than there are Americans who want to take that right away. It’s encouraging to see the glass as half full.
Try to give your brain a break and pick up a good book or watch your favorite show on television. Hillary Clinton’s new book will be out soon (and, yeah, she calls Trump a creep in it). The newest season of Game of Thrones just ended (and yeah, Jon Snow is still my favorite). Take some time to just Netflix and chill with the people in your life. It’s okay. We’ll all still be here, just as outraged as ever when you get back, and we’ll tell you about all you’ve missed after you’re done binge watching Downton Abbey.
The point is, find a way to take care of yourself and escape the madness from time to time. Our fight isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. It’s okay to admit you’re tired and just need to walk away from it all for a bit. We’ll hold your place for you because we’re in this together. We’re partners in this resistance.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to Disney World.