Let’s face it, the world these days seems like a dark place. Engaging in the crucial work of social activism can be highly taxing on your body and mind. Often, people who are social activists spend a lot of time supporting and worrying about others and not much time taking care of themselves.
But how can you truly show up for others if you don’t take care of yourself? Self-care is the most radical act that we can take in a society that encourages burnout and never-ending work. See below to learn more about social activism burnout and how you can support yourself during this vital work.
What is Social Activism Burnout?
Social activists are often on the front lines engaging in the most physical, mentally, and emotionally demanding work. Social activism burnout is the experience of feeling physically and mentally drained while overcome with low energy, self-doubt, and cynicism.
Engaging in this work can sometimes feel hopeless in a world that seems to be constantly pushing in the opposite direction of social activism. Many social activists report feeling underappreciated and like they are going against a brick wall that doesn’t seem to move, no matter how hard they try to bang it down. But we must remember that this wall can be broken, even if it takes one stone and one step at a time.
The Top 3 Ways to Support Yourself from Social Activism Burnout
- Set Boundaries
When engaging in social activism, it is tempting to overwork yourself. Social activism is so important, and there is so much need out there. But remember, you can’t help others if you are struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we serve others from a full cup, our work will be much more effective and sustainable in the long run. So, don’t be afraid to say no sometimes and set boundaries around your time. Your impact will be much larger at the end of the day, even though it may feel hard to decrease your workload initially.
- Take Exposure Breaks
When you are constantly flooded with an onslaught of negative news, it can feel overwhelming. A common strategy to decrease this impact is to limit your exposure to the news during certain hours of the day. It is crucial to avoid reading the news first thing when you wake up or immediately before going to bed. Try to keep some time off for yourself each day to relax and nourish your mind so you can feel more prepared for the day ahead.
- Seek Support
The good thing about working in social activism is that you don’t need to go at it alone. There are tons of organizations and other people who are eager to be involved. Tapping into these networks and reaching out for help when you feel overwhelmed can decrease the personal burden and make the desired outcome more effective in the long run. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to others and broaden your network.
When Burnout Becomes Depression – Contact Eastside TMS and Wellness Center
Staying involved as an activist with the causes you care about will likely be a lifelong endeavor, so it is essential to pace yourself throughout this process. Your activism is admirable, but be cautious when it is becoming detrimental to your mental health. This is an opportunity to set healthy boundaries so that you can continue this work without getting burned out. If you start to feel like the burnout is overwhelming or doesn’t seem to end, then reach out to us at Eastside TMS and Wellness Center in the greater Seattle area for additional support.