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What’s your activism ? What are you stand for ? Whatever it is, self-care tips for the resistance is critical.
Starting and maintaining activism for the causes you deeply care about may be overwhelming at some extent. Here are four simple things you can exercise in creating changes that are suitable at your own pace because no matter how big or small, each of us has a place in the movement.
1. ACTIVISM IS NOT ONE-SIZE-FITS ALL PRACTICE
Acknowledge that activism is not one-size-fits-all practice, let alone that it is instant. The cause we choose to advocate for may be different compared to other people. Start somewhere and remind ourselves not to get intimidated.
2. LEARN, UNLEARN, AND RELEARN
Being ignorant in this age with the rampant access of information is a choice. Do your own research since the oppressed ones can’t keep explaining over and over about what is happening – nor it is their responsibility to do so. Be open and commit to stay educated and updated about the information that will help you better achieve the advocation. Know what is necessary to unlearn after you receive new information about the issues you’re advocating.
3. ABOVE ALL, LISTEN
Make sure your activism didn’t come from the place of saviourism. Listen more and listen closely for the people you advocate for. Regularly ask what they need and make sure the action plans you’re organizing work in favour with what they need. As Jamie Margolin wrote in her book, Youth to Power and How to Use It, “No one knows what’s better for their community than the actual community affected,” says Margolin.
4. LOOK BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVISM
Remember to use social media as a tool to amplify your activism, not to define it. Activism goes beyond posting your opinion on Twitter and posting pictures. Spend your time speaking to people, meeting with your community, and organizing events.
5. UNPLUG AND TAKE A BREAK
Activism fatigue is real. Self-care is incredibly essential. Decide your own pace and take a break whenever you need it. Raising awareness and advocating for people don’t have to put your emotional and physical well-being on line.
When it gets to be too much, it’s ok to unplug for a bit. Stop refreshing Twitter and reading the news. Stop feeling guilty when someone asks you if you’ve been following the latest story and you have to say no. Go a week or a day or even an hour without talking/reading/writing about the dumpster fire smoldering along in Washington. It will still be there when you get back, I promise.
Making positive impacts is not something we can do by pulling an all-nighter, let alone doing it all by ourselves. As we advocate and raise awareness, remember to also be kind to ourselves and take it one step at a time.
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