Dealing With Activist Burnout

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I usually don’t write about my personal life much on my blog. However, lately I’ve been pretty burned out and it’s affected my writing and work in general, so I figured I’d address it with a general point.

Activist burnout happens. There is so much suffering in the world and sometimes it can feel so overwhelming that you just want to give up. And that is okay! It’s okay not to be “on” 24/7. Activists can and should take breaks. 

Self-care is necessary for an activist’s mental health. Fighting all the time is exhausting and sometimes we just need to step back and recharge. This doesn’t make us any less of an activist. It makes us human.

Over the past few months I’ve been pretty burnt out and depressed. I was heavily involved in this political season and seeing Trump actually win was a crushing blow to my liberal soul. But even before Trump won the election, I was feeling burnt out by dealing with the irrationality of those more on “my side.” Irrationally inflicts those all over the political spectrum.

So over these past couple months, I have taken more breaks. Lately, I haven’t been following the news as much. I haven’t been logging into Facebook as much. Sometimes for days at a time I’ll have no idea what is happening with the world. Instead, I’ll spending time with my awesome partner or reading a good book that pleasantly distracts myself from the chaos in the world.

But I’m not completely burying my head in the sand because I know there is still work to do. I’m just taking a break for my mental health. I’m recharging so I can get back to it once I fully recover and am ready to go.

So this means my November and especially my December were lighter on my activist work. But once the New Year hits, I will be ready to go. I feel ready to fight because there is so much to do and I have to try.

Some updates directly related to this blog will include an “awesome activist” series where I will briefly highlight the work of some activist doing incredible work. I’ll hope to do this weekly so feel free to send me requests! I’ll also continue my productive dialogue project with more people. Along with my usual writing about politics, religion, social justice, and science. And some big news that I will announce again once it’s official is my very own podcast. 

I’ll be doing all this on top of my usual local activism fighting for gender equality, secularism, and sexual violence prevention in South Carolina. And oh yeah, working on that PhD thing where I am currently studying a bunch of really awesome projects.

So to recap: activist burn out happens and it’s important to take breaks sometimes. Recharge and get ready to fight again whenever you can. After my break I hope to hit the new year running. Stay tuned.


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