Wellness Wednesday: Self-Care for Activists

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Whether it’s marching in protests, organizing community events, writing and calling government officials, or unlearning and actively engaging in difficult conversations, being an activist is an incredibly important job. It can also be a physically, mentally, and emotionally draining one. Creating social change is not something that happens overnight or by oneself. It requires that we show up for ourselves just as much as we show up for the people and causes we’re fighting for. If we want sustainable activism, then we need to remember that, like superheroes, even change agents need to take care of themselves. And if you ever start to feel guilty for doing that, remember that Black lesbian writer and activist, Audre Lorde, once said, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” We can’t pour from an empty cup. We need to care for ourselves, recharge, and replenish our resources in order to keep showing up and doing the work. So, how do you refill your cup and practice self-care as you strive for social justice? Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday: Self-Care for Activists”

Wellness Wednesday: Self-Care When the News Is Difficult

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Happy Wednesday, friends! If you’ve been watching the news or endlessly scrolling on social media, then you’re probably feeling just as overwhelmed, stressed, and weary as I am. With every news report and social media post that sparks an array of feelings, I hope you are taking the time to both acknowledge your emotions and feel them deeply and also care for yourself in whatever way is most effective and beneficial for you. Both exposure to and experiencing traumatic events is traumatizing. Directly or indirectly fighting oppression is exhausting. Please take care of yourselves, friends. Here are a few self-care tips from one of my favorites, Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, PhD:

Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday: Self-Care When the News Is Difficult”

Feature Friday: South Side Environmental Education Directive (SEED)

At the start of the quarantine, 19-year-old Iván did what so many of us did: embraced the novelty of the pandemic and binge-watched the latest Netflix shows to pass the time. Now that the novelty has worn off, Iván has worked hard to create structure, self-reflect, and find what brings him true joy. All of this inspired him to combine his passion for science and the environment with his joy of working with lower and middle school children. The end result is a project that, while still in the early stages of development, deserves to be in the spotlight! The South Side Environmental Education Directive (SEED) is a wonderful way to encourage other young people to get outdoors, to explore nature among Chicago’s concrete jungle, to think scientifically, and to care about the environment. Check out my interview with Iván to hear all about his initiative, what inspired him, and why it matters. Give some love and support to Iván by visiting his YouTube channel linked here.

Are you a young person or do you know a young person who’s doing something that deserves to be in the spotlight? Simply email readytorisemovement@gmail.com for more information on how you or someone you know can be featured in the next Feature Friday!

Wellness Wednesday: Developing a Mindfulness Practice in Anxious Times

img_1305When I first heard about mindfulness a few years ago, I understood it to be a practice meant to help people relax when they felt stressed or anxious. And while that’s not entirely untrue, years of schooling, working as a child and adolescent therapist, and developing my own mindfulness practice have broadened my understanding. Sure, relaxation can be a result of practicing mindfulness, but it’s not the purpose. The purpose of mindfulness is to intentionally and consciously be aware of the present moment which allows us to fully acknowledge where we are, what’s going on, what we’re doing, and those thoughts, feelings, and physiological sensations that show up. Why is this important? When we acknowledge what’s going on externally and internally in the present moment, we won’t be overwhelmed by or overly reactionary to what’s going on around us. It doesn’t change the situation (though it’d be nice if it did, right?), but it just helps us ease into the chaos and feel more in control, especially when life around us feels out of control. Given these current turbulent and uncertain times, I think developing a mindfulness practice would be helpful for you, too! Continue reading “Wellness Wednesday: Developing a Mindfulness Practice in Anxious Times”

Motivational Monday: It’s OK Not To Be OK

Hi, friends! How are you? No, how are you really? It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? My last post was from March 16th when we were just three short days into quarantining. Businesses were just starting to close and schools were just beginning to prepare for what we all imagined would only be a few weeks of online classes. No one could have imagined that three months after my last post, a post filled with some semblance of hope and optimism, that we’d still be here in quarantine, with many of us still grappling with the same sense of uncertainty, confusion, and disappointment we did when this first started. Most businesses are still closed, schools are closed for the remainder of the school year, and some students are still adjusting to remote learning. There are new ways of grocery shopping, restrictions on social gatherings, and even mandates that require us to wear a mask whenever we’re in public places. Despite recommendations from leading scientists and doctors, some states are just now starting to ease some coronavirus-related restrictions which will give us a glimpse of what it’s like to eat out, shop, and socialize in our new normal. Continue reading “Motivational Monday: It’s OK Not To Be OK”