Living in a time such as this, our bodies and minds are compensating for the shifts we see headed our way. So, that might include feeling a bit more exhausted than usual, or a little more fatigued after a few days of exposing ourselves to upsetting news. Getting better sleep, which for some may include more sleep, as well as rest, too, are vital parts of what we need to continue fighting for justice.
As we await these potential life changes, we may want to be actively engaged in solution-focused activities; such as reading, pledging, protesting, and calling out egregious behaviors, but without the pressure of feeling as if we have to choose between activism, sleep and rest. Can we have all the things we need, and not live with the guilt that our commitment is less valuable than anyone else’s?
Well, that’s what Yahoo Life asked me a few weeks ago when I was interviewed for their outlet about racial uprising and mental health. Take a look.
If the belief is that in order to care about what’s going on we have to be plugged in all the time, then are we also considering the risks we’re taking with our health? Is it possible to be aware and self-focused?
Here’s a few things I’m concerned may be at risk without reconciling the aforementioned:
- We risk becoming burned out, apathetic, or resentful
- We risk not being fully present in other important areas of our life, such as work, school, and with those we care about
- We risk making mistakes at work that could have long-term effects
- We risk reactivating trauma wounds and complicating existing health problems
Sleep and rest are not simply purposed with maintaining the motivation it takes to keep the causes that matter to us going, though that is an important aspect of both. Sleep is purposed with helping the brain to regenerate itself, to grow new brain cells and to retain the information we need to sustain our progress. Rest is equally important to activism and social awareness; and that includes not watching or reporting the news so many times a day, or answering the call to sign a petition, walk for a cause, or march for freedom—also very significant parts of activism. However, without rest we become mentally and emotionally fatigued. My question then is this: can we consent to the things we want for our lives, while at the same time do it in a way that is healthiest? I’ve been thinking about compassionate activism in my work lately and how we can bring ourselves closer to this concept. What are your thoughts about it? Leave a comment below or leave a message for me on Instagram.com/ashatarrymental. I’d love to hear how you’ve been feeling lately.
*This blog is about becoming free. It’s a reflection of introspective thoughts and experiences that have crossed miles of self-discovery. I created this blog to inspire others to live life with less self-criticism, judgment and openness to new experiences. May you find that you learn how to live a life by design and on your own terms!*