My body, my choice.
Ok, now that all the people this blog post isn’t for have left, I want to talk to those of you still hanging around. This blog post is for the business owner who wants to be involved and active, and is feeling overwhelmed because they still need to run their business in addition to being, maybe, more politically active than they have been.
There is a lot of justified angst on social media right now. It can feel as if you are being pulled in all directions every time you open social media. I understand the desire to get involved with absolutely everything, but I suggest choosing a couple of issues that matter most to you and being active there rather than spreading yourself so thin you can’t focus.
This is a must read - You can do something, but you can't do everything.
Not every person is going to embrace every issue the same way you do – one person may be more passionate about climate change and another may be more passionate about health care. That’s OK. The situation that exists right now isn’t something that is going away,. We need people caring about all kinds of different issues.
What do you do when your newsfeed is too stressful
As a business owner, how do you maintain your presence on social media without getting distracted from a chaotic and frustrating social media feed?
Using a couple of the Facebook mobile apps lets you do the work you need to do on Facebook without getting sucked in conversations or discussions when you should be working.
Facebook for mobile:
Groups app – allows you to directly access any group you are a member of and by-pass your main wall.
Pages app – allows you to post and schedule to your Facebook business page and by-pass your main wall.
Messenger app – allows you to access messages and by-pass your main wall.
When you are ready to jump into your main social media feed, be aware of the news sources you read as well as the ones you share. It feels great to read something you agree with 100% all of the time, but if the source isn’t credible or skews information in one direction – you lose credibility by sharing it and you may be missing nuances that can’t be covered in a click-bait article.
If this is affecting your mental health, if you are having nightmares, or if you are physically unable to participate, it is OK to pull back a little bit to the point where you can still function and still participate in the issues that mean the most to you without burning yourself out. Get rest. Get adequate (and tasty!) food. Get exercise. Get fresh air.
I’ve talked about burn out before. It isn’t pretty, its messy, and it doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead of trying to do everything and being so stressed you burn out in the next week, consider where your efforts will have the most impact in the time you have.
Is you time best spent organizing a post card writing party (or attending one)? Participating in marches and protests? Calling representatives? Volunteering with groups that support the most vulnerable? How can you make yourself heard in the time you have each day?
This isn’t something that will be resolved in the next month or even the next six months. This is a two-to-four- year effort and burning out in the first 10 or even first 100 days benefits no one.
It is so easy to keep refreshing your news feed and scrolling and scrolling getting caught up in all the horribleness that seems to happen every hour on the hour right now.
In no way am I saying we can log off and never look back because someone else will do the work for us. What I am saying we need to be smart about how and where we are spending our time. It is ok to be involved without burning yourself out or pushing yourself to the point of getting sick or making you want to give up entirely.
Giving up isn’t an option and burn out is a real possibility.
Focusing on the causes that mean the most to you doesn’t mean you don’t care about other issues - it means you are being realistic with your time and energy and choosing the make the most impact possible where you can.
If you imagine your time as a pie chart, how much time each day can you devote to making your voice heard? One of the things I talk about when it comes to marketing your business is baby steps and building consistency. I believe those ideas can be applied to activism also. Can you spend 15 minutes a day working on the causes the mean the most to you? Or maybe it makes more sense in your schedule to set aside a one hour period once a week.
Whatever it is be consistent and be active because there is a lot of work to be done. Stand up for each other, look out for each other, and use whatever privilege you have to help someone else.
News & Guts
Learn your representatives contact information - http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/
Indivisible - A practical guide for resisting the Trump agenda
Black Lives Matter
100 days – 10 Actions for the First 100 Days
5calls.org – 5 Phone Calls to Make Each Day
How to Call Your Reps When You Have Social Anxiety - does the idea of making a phone call to a stranger make you sweat? Not sure what to say? This is a great guide.
Emily's List - Encourage more women to run for office
Southern Poverty Law Center
Hard Conversations Book Club list – 2017 focus is books by women of color
How to Stop Islamophobic Attacks - I think this is also something to keep in mind for any kind of harassment.
Intersectional Feminism – What is it and why does it matter?
Butterfly Boxes – Put together welcoming boxes (or donate items or funds) to help welcome a refugee coming to Oregon. They often arrive with very little and need personal care items and more.
Janus Youth Programs - Helping homeless youth