Are you caught in a whirlwind of emotion about today’s political climate?
Outraged by the latest compassion-less policy?
Anxiety about how it will impact you and your loved one’s?
Worried about your emotional and physical safety in today’s world?
Feeling numb and disconnected when you’ve just had too much?
I’ve seen these various reactions in my clients and myself. I see the toll that the political climate has taken on our collective mental health. In this sea of chaotic emotions it’s hard to know what to do and where to put your energy.
I recommend finding the right balance of time engaged in action and time away from politics. We all need time to step away once and awhile. To allow our nervous systems to calm. To protect ourselves from situations that are too triggering. That balance will look different for each person. Look within yourself and check-in on what balance you need today.
If you’re feeling burnout and on edge…Time for a break and self-care.
If you’re feeling fired up and wanting to make a difference…Time for action steps.
If taking action would be empowering for you today, keep reading for some ideas to get started. If self-care is what you need, get away from your phone and do something kind for yourself. Take a walk in nature, enjoy a good book of fiction, do a mindfulness exercise, laugh with the people you care about most. Find space for joy and peace in your day today.
I see many San Franciscans and Bay Area folks get stuck in feeling there is nothing meaningful they can do politically since we live in a progressive area. However, as part of my own self-care and I’ve been focusing on what impactful actions I can take even from this progressive bubble.
Here are some great ideas for impactful action I’ve come across. See what fits for you, or what other new ideas it sparks.
- Volunteer on a local politician’s campaign. Educate yourself about who stands for what you believe in and help get out the word about them. Our local representatives make such a big impact on our daily lives, that can be easy to forget when federal representatives are what we hear about in the media.
- Support candidates of color and help bring a diversity of voices to local and federal politics. Having our candidates reflect our communities makes us stronger politically and emotionally. To see ourselves mirrored in our leaders has an unspeakable power. Check out the work of: The Electoral Justice Project and Three Point Strategies for ideas to get involved.
- Volunteer for “Get Out The Vote” campaigns. Help get voters registered and get information to them about where and how to vote in the next election. You can contact your political party to get involved. Consider traveling to a state nearby to help get out the vote in the next election. You can make an event of it, planning a fun trip with friends with a little activism thrown in. Or you can volunteer to do phone or text banking in another state as well.
- Consider helping to support candidates for city and state positions in other states where you feel it would make a bigger impact. Even though you live in San Francisco, you can still volunteer your time and money in other states. Sister District is a great organization spearheading this work.
- Volunteer on a campaign to support a San Francisco or California proposition you believe in. The amount of propositions on our ballots can be overwhelming, helping educate and get out the word about propositions that significantly impact our daily lives as San Franciscans is a huge service for our community.
If you’ve never been involved in political action before, these steps could be intimidating. Consider starting by volunteering with friend. Or some text / letter writing support that may feel like an easier first step. Taking a step that makes you feel hopeful and empowered is the most important part.
If you’d like more support managing the emotional impact of today’s political climate, please reach out to me or a therapist near you to schedule an appointment.