As we near the Inauguration, that panic and fear many of us felt near the election, or around the recount, or around the Electoral College vote may start to resurface. Heck, for a lot of people, it never went under the surface. We’ve had a rough time. There has been ugliness and pain. We’ve been working hard to try to get a lot accomplished in a short time, and it can be rough.
During times like this, it can be very important not to forget to take care of ourselves as well. I’ll tell you a story. In the state where I live, we have mail-in ballots, so my partner and I were able to vote before we left on an international trip where we would be gone over Election Day. I have some chronic medical conditions that I treat with medication, an implanted medical device, and marijuana. We knew that being out of the country would mean that I wouldn’t have access to marijuana as part of my treatment, but we decided to go anyway. Like many people, we figured Clinton had it in the bag. How could Trump possibly win?
Election Day found us camped out in the South Pacific, struggling to find a radio station so we could verify the election results. We finally found a radio station, which sadly told us that the election had not gone the way we thought. Over the next few days, we heard from afar as so many upsetting actions and appointments took place. Friends were targeted on the street and at home. I felt powerless, and I couldn’t just let myself enjoy the rest of my vacation, so that I could go back and fight well rested.
By the time we got back, my chronic medical condition had flared up again due to stress and my immune system had started to shut down, so I got very sick. Besides the fact that I hadn’t had any flare ups with my condition in years, it also prevented me from getting involved like I wanted. I was forced to take time to recuperate, and take care of myself. During this time is when I was able to think, and plan, and even come up with this website!
Everyone needs time for themselves sometimes. Needing to rest and heal and process doesn’t make you weak or ineffective, it makes you a human being. We weren’t meant to run and run and run and never stop. If we keep going until we break down, if we burn the candle at both ends, than the resistance looses a valuable member, and the world loses a valuable light, faster.
Don’t diminish yourself by burning yourself up as quickly as you can. Remember, you matter too. Even if you just take 15 minutes a day to refresh yourself, have some tea, meditate, or do some coloring book pages. Whatever helps you get back to being you! You could even make some simple goals as part of your New Years Resolution, such as: have 10-15 mindful minutes every day, spend 10-15 completely alone and quiet every day, take a multi vitamin every day, drink more water, eat more fruits and veggies, walk more, etc. These are the kinds of promises to ourselves that are much easier to keep than, say, writing your novel (finally!), but are just as important as some of those big ones, because they help us keep soldiering on each year.
So, take a breath, and take some time for you, before you go out and March on Washington this Inauguration Day 🙂
(coloring page and more can be found here.)