Self care as a form of activism
If you don’t take care of yourself, what are you modeling for the world you want to live in?
When we are building social movements, we are modelling the change we want to see. If our movement is full of overwork and burnout, how can we hope that the outcome will be anything but that?
If we want a world where people have space for rest, we must take space for rest now. It can feel counterintuitive: there is so much to do, to change, to fight! But as Audre Lorde said, the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. We cannot build a society that centers care and compassion unless we start centering care and compassion in our change movements.
This means we all need to practice active self care, as well as create expectations that others will do the same. We need to build care into our movements, so that when we get where we are going, we’re already in a caring, compassionate place.
It’s easy to think that if we don’t do something, no one will. But we have to let other people take our place when we need to step back. This also strengthens our organizations, because we understand where we need more support, instead of thinking we can do it all on our own. It also helps us create more reasonable expectations for ourselves and others, which will draw more people into the world. (Who wants to join a group when they see everyone exhausted and overworked? They just think they’re going to end up the same way, and they don’t even get started!)
What can you do this week to practice caring for yourself in the way you'd like to see others cared for? Share in the comments! Let's make a commitment to starting the world we want to shape today. I believe in you 💜