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Exhaust your opposition, not yourself

The last three weeks have been hard.

Between the horrific instances of police brutality, the global protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, and the breakout of proud racism and ignorance in Buffalo, there’s been a lot to take in and a lot to stand up for.

And I am so proud.

I’m so proud of everyone who has been marching and relentlessly fighting for this country to uphold basic human rights, everyone who has donated to BLM and related organizations, and everyone who has refused to be silent. This fight is important and change is long overdue.

But it has become overwhelmingly exhausting to stand up for what’s right, and I want to make sure you’re taking time for yourself, too.

Everyone’s activism is different. Maybe your favorite avenue has left you feeling exhausted, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop altogether. Whether you’ve exhausted your resources or yourself, there are ways you can take a step back without stopping. (Although maybe a quick break wouldn’t hurt.)

If you’re a protester, maybe give your feet a rest and amp up your timelines with informative sources for your followers.

If you’re a giver but you’re running out of funds, stream to donate instead.

If you’re a social media activist but you can’t stand the online ignorance, consume Black excellence to unwind (for me this is often through online shopping).

I spent most of this week off social media because I just needed a break. And I know how corny that sounds but it’s true. I also know that it’s a privilege for me to be able to take a break and completely remove myself from that which overwhelms me, because that’s not the case for most people ever.

Social media is a great way to connect us, organize protests, and stand together to work toward tangible change. It’s also a host of trauma porn and some of the most problematic opinions, those which would never be said if not typed behind the safety of a computer screen.

So it’s easy to become traumatized, overwhelmed, anxious, sad, and a million other emotions right now. If you’re feeling any type of way, please listen to what you need. Because it’s crucial to protest for Black people’s safety, but making sure you’re healthy doesn’t diminish that fight.

You don’t have to feel guilty for whatever you’re feeling, and you don’t have to feel guilty for taking a step back.

Whether it’s a week or just five minutes, taking time for your mental and physical health is so important right now.

There are free mental health resources for protesters.

There are resources for Black mental health.

There are articles by Black women for Black women to help check in with yourself.

Please take care of yourself always, but especially right now.

I know that none of these conversations are over, and I don’t want them to be. But if we don’t take time to rest, then everyone will be too burnt out to continue fighting.

Your health doesn’t need to take the back burner to your activism. They are both what makes you whole.

History is in the making, make sure you’re strong enough to fight.

With love and plenty of time to listen, if you need,

Jacklyn

Photo by Madison Inouye from Pexels

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