Back On Top

c2bhduvxuaumm7a
@weezyvc

Dear Reader,

This post, like everything I write, comes from a place of explicit sincerity. For some reason, it felt important to remind y’all of that before I get started. Here we go.

Needless to say, this election was a fucking nightmare. When I think back to that dreaded week in November when it all came to a head, I still feel its horrible remnants. The hope I had built up from my peers and my supportive community came crashing down in a matter of hours. Some people were able to put their anger directly into action, while others had a more difficult time getting back on their feet. For three days following the election, I physically struggled to get out of bed. I had no fight in me whatsoever – which was extremely difficult for someone as passionate as I am about actively participating in working toward change. I had experienced depression before, but this was the first time I had ever felt depressed to the point of not knowing any way to end the suffering. All around me, my peers were encouraging the importance of fighting back. But I didn’t know how. I couldn’t find it in me.

And if you’re reading this and rolling your eyes, saying to yourself “Stop being so dramatic” or “Get over it”…congratulations, you’re privileged. Take a second to meditate on that. It’s hard to accept and acknowledge your privilege, but it’s too necessary to ignore. Because believe it or not, we are not acting spoiled or overdramatic about this. We are trying to swallow the fact that there are people in our country – peers, friends, relatives, etc. – who do not understand the extent of our adverse circumstances. We are struggling to understand how people we love and care about can actively (or sometimes passively) support the deterioration of our civil rights. And if you don’t think the circumstances are that drastic, you’re woefully ignorant. And that’s not me being an entitled millennial or whiny feminist – it’s a fact. Educate yourself.

Here’s the deal: the new administration is dangerous. Because of these people in power, basic human rights continue to be denied to marginalized communities, including women (and basically all genders that are not cisgender men), LGBTQ+ people, people of color, immigrants, low-income citizens, people with disability, the homeless, incarcerated, and so many more varying intersections of people in the United States. And while I could go into detail about how there is actual proof to back up these claims, I truthfully don’t feel qualified enough. Instead, here are some sources:

My main intention for this post is to share how we can continue to take care of ourselves in such a heightened moment of need. While I have spent as much time as possible taking care of myself in this post-election dumpster fire, there is still a fear that the reality of Friday’s inauguration will hit me harder than I’m ready for. For any of y’all who are feeling similarly afraid, I wanted to share some self-care techniques that might help you get through the weekend. Because I am unable to participate in any of the women’s marches happening this weekend (if you are looking for somewhere to march, take a look here!), I figured sharing some of these techniques would be a good idea for anyone else who wants to feel productive, supportive, or just plain distracted.

1. Surround yourself with like-minded people

For some people, having time to themselves is a crucial part of their self-care routine. However, if you do better during difficult times when there are people around you, it could be particularly important this weekend to make sure they are like-minded friends, peers, etc. For example, while spending time with family might be a go-to method for you to unwind, make sure you’re not putting yourself in a potentially toxic environment. This could also be the case with friends or others in your immediate circle. Make plans now with people you trust will understand your needs. At least for these few days, try to take politics off the table by asking those around you to respect your wishes and wait to have those conversations at another time. 

2. Make your voice heard

Personally, this is my favorite way to combat any feelings of defeat or lack of purpose. We all have the power to take action and participate in making positive changes in our society. I find that by actively voicing my opinions against our system’s injustices, I can stand a little taller with the satisfaction of making even the smallest dent.

As some of you may know, I am a volunteer at the Harry Potter Alliance. We are currently running a campaign called Neville Fights Back to encourage everyone to take action in our political system. The HPA offers links to help find your representatives and their contact information so you can easily make your voice heard – literally, you can call them and share your message. I also like this infographic called How to call your reps when you have social anxiety. Personally, I hate speaking to other humans on the phone, so I found this resource super helpful.

Additionally, I stumbled across this handy dandy Google Doc called the “We’re His Problem Now” Calling Sheet. Basically, this is your one stop shop for who you can call, scripts for exactly what to say, and additional tips for how this actually works and why it’s important. Share it like crazy and give Kara all the credit for being an activist superhero.

3. Unplug

It might be a good idea to stay away from social media as much as possible. While this can often be an outlet for us when we want to feel connected to a greater cause, it could be draining to continue refreshing your pages only to find repeated coverage of the same event. Trust me, if anything extraordinary happens, you can read about it on Monday.

4. Donate

When it comes to donating, most people immediately think of money. While that’s definitely a wonderful option if you have the means – FYI, I’m personally a big fan of the movement to Donate $20 to Planned Parenthood on 1/20/17 – money isn’t the only way you can contribute to the causes you care about. We all have our own unique passions and skills, and this is your opportunity to share them in a way that can be both selfless and selfish. Write, create art, share your voice and share it out loud.

5. Don’t forget the basics

If you feel like you need to stay in bed all weekend, don’t get discouraged. Just make sure that at the very least, you’re taking care of yourself on a very basic level. Eat breakfast, drink plenty of water, take your medication, change your clothes. Take a short walk around the block for some fresh air. Text your best friend. Rely on your favorite self-care techniques, whatever they may be.

Let me know what your plans are for this weekend. Are you going to a march? Spending time with your pup? Having a Harry Potter movie marathon? ALL THREE? The possibilities are endless! Stay strong. Remember that you’re not alone and we are all in this fight together. I love you.

cw0wayzxuaaqj2g

Advertisements

Reflection

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day. Did you spend time with the one you love? Even if you think the answer is no, that you’re single or not in a relationship or don’t have anyone to spend the day lovin’… think again. It’s you!!!

Over the past couple of months, I have been exploring the practice of self-care. This can mean different things to different people, but ultimately, it’s making sure you spend some time to attend to your personal needs in ways that best benefit you. This could mean mentally, emotionally, physically, or any way you need it. So for Valentine’s Day yesterday, as inspired by the iconic (and unfortunately fictional) Donna Meagle, I decided to treat myself. If you’re not in a relationship with another person – or even if you are – it’s important to take some time to give yourself the love and attention you deserve.

Side note: Two of my favorite YouTubers have videos about self-care that I totally recommend checking out!!

Laci Green- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQvZ_8UhGP8

MarinaShutUp- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG6jtPrq1g4

Most of us these days are busy. Really busy. Busy AF (once again, for you folks out there who aren’t hip with today’s slang, AF stands for AS FUCK. I’m here to educate.) But it has been proven – by science or something, probably – that taking time for yourself, even if it’s just 15 minutes to unwind, will overall improve the quality of whatever work you’re doing. As for me, considering I am in my final semester of college, I think it’s fair to say I have a lot to stress about. But I took Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to take a break for just one afternoon to do the things that make me happy.

Like I said, self-care is different for everyone. We all don’t enjoy going to art exhibits or sporting events when we want to have a good time, and we all don’t hate exercise (I know, it’s hard to believe). But that’s what makes taking this time for yourself so important. You have no one to appease but you, so it’s an opportunity to really consider what your needs are and what you can do to best attend to them. For me, self-care might include activities such as doing yoga, taking naps, trying a new makeup routine and taking selfies, or ordering Seamless. Sometimes I’ll go for a run. Sometimes I’ll draw in a coloring book, or read, or write. Those are things I love to do and things I don’t always have the time for in my busy schedule, but when it comes to taking care of myself, I know I need to make the time. And don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of getting stuff done and challenging yourself and working hard for what you want, but when that becomes detrimental at the expense of your well being, that’s when it’s time to check in.

And just because Valentine’s Day is over doesn’t mean you’ve missed your opportunity for self-love. Self-care is something that is important all year round, especially during those times when there is so much pressure to be spending this time and energy on someone else. Caring for and loving another person is wonderful, but you should never forget to TREAT YO SELF. (Was this blog written by Donna Meagle herself? It’s a possibility.)

Don’t be scared to practice self-care. It’s not narcissistic or cocky to care about yourself. Just because you think you deserve to feel great doesn’t mean you’re denying others their chance to feel great, too. Find what works for you. Need to drink more water? Want to try meditating for 10 minutes before starting your day? Thinking about learning a new hobby, like knitting or golf or crafting? Try new things and figure out what you love to do, and most importantly, make sure to set aside some time to do it. While being busy, it may be hard to convince yourself to slow down. But if you find the right practices, I guarantee it will be worth it.