As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to take the United States by storm, many are feeling the effects of advocating for justice. It’s understandable. You’re going to get tired. You’re going to see small wins — a bill passed here, a token gesture there — and assume that the hard part is over. However, this is centuries of white supremacy we’re dealing with, and you can’t solve it overnight or even after a few weeks. In other words: this fight for racial justice is far from over, and we have a long way to go. So, instead of pretending like it’s easy, let’s prepare ourselves to push through when things get hard, especially when other issues (i.e work, family and everyday life) arise. Let’s come up with sustainable ways to keep up this momentum.
- News Fatigue
Simple solution: log off if you’re feeling overwhelmed by what you see. Create parameters for yourself, set up curfews for when you can check back in, and know when you really need to take the day off. If something news-breaking happens, you’ll hear about it.
- Action Fatigue
Many feel tired after attending multiple protests, calling congresspeople, signing petitions, and donating to groups demanding change. After putting in all that hard work, some don’t see the change they want, and it can make them feel defeated. Remember, activism is a marathon — not a sprint. Instead, try to incorporate these actions into your everyday life. You can sign up for petition notifications through your email and get access to petitions similar to the ones you’ve already signed. Try buying from BIPOC-owned stores as a change from large corporations.
- Social Media Fatigue
Constantly pushing out information across your social media platforms can be tiring. You worry whether not everyone is seeing the information you are putting out there. You deal with people who don’t share the same ideals belittling you for how you express your opinions. A way to solve this is by unfollowing toxic friends or muting the people who are bashing you for standing up during these times. You can also cultivate your feed to get more important information that can help you grow and evolve as a person!
- Conversation Fatigue
Some of your family and friends might not see eye-to-eye with your beliefs. The conversations you have with them may end up feeling more like debates where you fight over whose opinion is more valid. It’s stressful and tiring, but don’t stop – these conversations are so important! Choose a time when both of you are relaxed and in a more open state of mind. Avoid family gatherings or times when everyone’s tired and upset. If those options don’t work, try reframing your approach. Refrain from using accusatory tones, and instead, try to keep things on a lighter note.
If there’s one thing to take from this, it’s that activism fatigue is real and can be very damaging to someone’s mental health. Check in on yourself, and don’t forget to check in on others who are fighting for a change, too!