Fighting the patriarchy is hard. It's exhausting. It's infuriating. It's time-consuming. It's never-ending. If you don't give yourself some love it's easy to become worn out and then you can't help anybody. Here are some tried and true methods for staying sane and healthy while you fight the good fight.
1. Surround yourself with people that get it. As a teacher and an activist it's easy for me to be around people who don't necessarily understand why social justice is important. Having to constantly explain yourself and validate why what you're doing is in fact important and world changing gets old. So every once and a while I have to meet up with friends, colleagues, or fellow activists, just to vent. This is healthy. You can't always be the educator, sometimes it's nice to just be like everyone else, where the world isn't falling apart.
2. Take breaks. You don't have to go to every protest, every rally, every phone tree organization. I often feel guilty when I don't attend an event, the reality is, my life is fighting for equal rights. I do it every day. It doesn't always have to be in front of news cameras and in fact it shouldn't be. That's just another way that we run ourselves ragged.
3. Do something mindless. I often watch documentaries, web series', TV shows and read books that discuss social justice or taking down the patriarchy. There is no way I am relaxed after this. It recharges me, gets me riled up, reminds me that I'm not alone but it does little to put my mind at ease. Every once and a while I need to binge watch Bob's Burgers or Invader Zim just to remember that life can be lite.
4. Laugh. Take time to be silly, to appreciate the little things and to, just live. Not everything has to be a part of your struggle, especially if you want to keep fighting.
5. Don't let your fight turn to hate. It's easy when you don't do steps 1-4 to become jaded and angry. it's okay to be angry, what we are up against can make your blood boil but to only be angry means that you have lost hope, that you have essentially lost your fight. That's a dangerous place to be. We are fighting for equality, justice and inclusion. These are all beautiful things, don't lose sight of that. Don't let them take that from you.