I think it’s safe to say that fighting systemic racism takes a lot of energy, whether you’re donating, having tough conversations or self-educating via books, podcasts, online courses and the like. At the end of the day, our minds and bodies need to rest in order to maintain that energy. It’s important to remember that it’s OK to take time for yourself. Rest isn’t the enemy of change – but it is a helpful tool in staying energized for the long haul. Here are 5 ways you can rest and recover while you fight for social change.
Limit screen time
It’s important now more than ever to stay informed and aware – but nonstop scrolling and the constant overload of news can cause stress and anxiety. It’s OK to take breaks from whatever you’re watching, reading or listening to – and to be mindful and intentional of what kind of content you’re consuming. I promise the information will still be there when you get back! I like to put my phone in another room while I redirect my focus to something more calming or cathartic.
Whenever my head is running a mile a minute, I always like to take a few minutes to write down and reflect on my thoughts. It can be about anything – what you’re seeing, hearing, experiencing and how you’re reacting (or not reacting) to it. I find it a great way to validate your thoughts and emotions!
Journaling is also a great way to explore your own thoughts on a matter without being impacted by another person in conversation. I know I’ve been journaling about my own privileges, biases, and questions I don’t ask myself nearly enough.
Ground yourself in physical sensations
I’ve found that physical connections and sensations can help unlock any emotional connections. Whenever I feel overwhelmed by my thoughts and feelings, I like to stay present by grounding myself in physical sensations. This can look like taking a shower or bath, drinking matcha, going for a walk, doing a few light exercises or being hugged. Whatever works best for you!
Take a minute
Whenever I’m feeling overstimulated, I like to take a few minutes for myself. Even a quick five-minute break dedicated to self-care makes all the difference. I like to selectively turn off any tech and push notifications, set a timer and lay down in a cool, dark room. It’s important to stay present, so I try boxed breathing exercises (in for 4, hold for 4, out for 8, repeat) – a technique that Navy Seals are taught to stay grounded before heading into crazy situations.
Get back to basics
With all the extra time in quarantine, we’re alone with our thoughts more than we might be used to – and it’s just become that much easier to get lost in them. I’ve been trying to nourish my mind and body at the most basic level. Like trying to get enough sleep, drinking more water and getting outside more! It’s simple but it always helps me feel clarity in my life – which is necessary when fighting the fight.
How do you like to hit pause and recover? I’d love to hear your favorite self-care practices!