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Have a question for our Fembot Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Watson? Reply to this e-mail and she'll answer it. Image source unknown via Pinterest.
Q: How Can You Avoid Burn Out While Practicing Activism?

Burn out happens to all of us, regardless of cause. But for feminists it can happen way more often, considering we’re face to face with a lot of depressing news. And it’s vital that we find a balance between our activism and taking care of ourselves. I’m not going to pretend there’s a sure fire way to do both perfectly, because you will have bad days. Some days the news will be so triggering and toxic that you’ll feel exhausted by the mere sight of Twitter, and some days your personal life will just get in the way.

As someone with anxiety, and a history of depression, I know that some days you can just wake up in a bad mood for seemingly no reason. So to then go on and see stories of bigotry, sexual assault, murder, and so on all through your newsfeed just makes that feeling ten times worse. And on the flip side, you could be in the best mood all week, then see all of this news and be dragged right back down. It goes both ways, and both ways suck.

As activists, we can’t always ignore this discomfort. For one, this discomfort actually fuels our activism more, but in a way if we always tried to ignore it then we’d never actually get any activism done. As an editor, and as a freelance writer, I have to write about and read social justice stories every single day. This can get incredibly heart breaking as well as just tiring. So no matter how busy a person you are, you have to take a break now and again.

Self care is vital to not letting the pain overtake you. And self care looks different on everyone. It can be anything from taking a day off to have bubble baths and eat chocolate, to cleaning your entire house from top to bottom. Some people will need to ignore all aspects of activism during their break in order to recharge, and some will need to just cut down a little. It’s a big privilege to be able to do the first one, but if you can do it I recommend you do. Particularly if you have a mood or anxiety disorder like I do. You can always catch up on missed news later. Whichever method of self care you choose, just make sure you keep your best interests at heart, and take your time. Rest, refresh, and do something that will pick up your mood.

If you’re interested in learning more about self care, and how to utilize it in your life, then be sure to download straight from this e-mail our free 10 page self care diary. Inside this reusable diary there are tips on how to take care of yourself during a stressful time, questionnaires that’ll help you track your recovery, free inspiring printable stickers, and way more.

And for days when you still want to make a difference but can’t bring yourself to discuss terrifying concepts, you can still be an activist. You can share media made by marginalized creators, watch LGBTQIAP+ movies with happy endings, read inspiring and cheerful articles by marginalized voices, go to events that celebrate different cultures, and share feminist memes from your favorite fellow activists. You can filter your social media timelines in any way you’d like in order to separate the dark from the light.

At the end of the day it’s up to you how you practise your activism and when you’ll need to take a break. Get to know not only your emotions but also how your body reacts to the stress activism can cause. Just take care of yourself, because you are an important part of feminism too.

 

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Alissa Medina orchestrates the site’s digital elements from designing to marketing as the chief digital officer. She received an honors degree in English Literature and also majored in Gender & Sexuality studies at the University of California, Riverside. She also has a Master's in Media, Culture, and Communication from NYU. She is available for business coaching, digital marketing strategy and implementation, social media strategy, article writing, and branding. Contact her here or via her LinkedIn. 

Stephanie Watson is Fembot Magazine’s editor-in-chief and cofounder. She leads Fembot’s growing editorial team and is a freelance writer, editor, and social media content strategist from the UK. She is a contributor for ContentBacon, and has written for several well-known publications such as Medium, YourTango, and HelloGiggles. She has an honors degree in psychology, as well as an HNC in professional writing. Stephanie is available for contributing thought-provoking articles on social justice and pop culture, as well as branded content. You can reach out to her via stephaniwatsonjournalist@gmail.com, or via her LinkedIn.


 
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