Activism and Self-Care

On Oct. 17, 2019, I was at my friend’s house having dinner. As the night went on, our conversations were slowly silenced as the sounds of thundering chants echoed throughout the streets of Beirut, and the call for revolution began.

One minute we were eating pancakes, the next we were side by side with strangers chanting for a united cause.

My last few months of 2019 were a blur of university classes and political clashes, as the revolution took over our daily lives and gradually became all that we knew. With each passing month, I found myself feeling that I was in a state of limbo, forgetting that there was a life outside of what was happening and myself to take care of.

For the past year, the world has been in a state of revolt. From the Hong Kong protests in August 2019, to the reemergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in June 2020, activism has been a focal point in our collective experience. In our new world of headlines, protesting, and social media, we often forget how easy it is to get caught up with everything and put aside our mental health.

The reality of it is however, that your activist self needs to be taken care of, and wellness in the midst of it all is incredibly crucial.

Although we may feel the pressure to keep going, it’s vital to pay attention to what your body needs. For me, that’s been taking a step back every now and then to relax at home and recollect my thoughts. Time at home is also a great way of reflecting on everything that you’ve been a part of, and looking at the grander scheme of things.

For others, self-care and activism means eating comfort foods when they’re needed, going on a run to release some tension, or hanging out with friends.

But the most important thing to remember is, you’re not alone.

Feelings of hopelessness, fatigue, or frustration are universal to everyone who cares about fighting for a cause, and navigating through these feelings is as important as advocating for what you believe in.

In all that’s going on, remember to take a step back, and have some water, food, or sleep. At the end of the day, your activist self can’t exist without your mental self so never forget to listen to what you need.