“Self-care has to be incorporated in all of our efforts. And this is something new. This holistic approach to organizing is, I think, what is going to eventually move us along the trajectory that may lead to some victories.”
Big bold letters, some italic to stress syllables, scroll across the bottom of the television screen. Font size: 48 point. No. Make it 72 point. In all caps. In Helvetica. In Times New Roman. In print. Half of the page. Then, republish the story online. Change the title. Afterwards, share it. Retweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Make it a hashtag. Repeat.
But these are not just vowels and consonants. These are not just words. These are not just the headlines of today and tomorrow. These are not just its, bits and pieces. And we are not reading or writing fiction.
These are real lives.
Under the microscope. On trial. On display. For all to see. For all to witness.
Behind every keystroke or tap of the thumb, another life. Energy spent. Time invested, wasted, or lost. Time that we can’t get back. Moments that pass. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Days. Months. Years. All collected in the histories of our browsers.
We read, consume, breath, and digest the narratives, experiences, and perspectives of those around us in 280 characters or less.
But do we ever take a day off?
Often, we don’t.
Conversations continue to circulate. On the Youtube comments page. On Twitter feeds. On Facebook threads. On Reddit posts. Refresh.
But something just doesn’t click. Something doesn’t add up.
Call it sorrow. Call it resentment. Call it mistrust. But I call it-
Another headline surfaces, reminding us of our deepest failures as a society- triggering past traumas, reaffirming fears and doubts.
Headlines can turn us into restless children that refuse to be read one story, kissed on the forehead, and tucked into bed. In those moments we want answers: What will happen next? Who did what? They said that? Where? Why? How could this be?
Anxiety induced by the media is very real. But we can find ways to cope.
It’s okay to turn of your computer, silence your phone, or delete a social media app.
It’s okay to skip a news day, block the comments, or mute a colleague.
It’s okay to take time for yourself.
It’s okay to not know what to say, think, or feel.
It’s okay to be vulnerable.
The internet will still be there tomorrow.
Another headline will follow.
Big bold letters and all.
Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
Be well my dear friends. Look out for one another. Lift each other up. In times of uncertainty repeat these affirmations:
I am valid.
I am worthy.
I am loved.
When the pressure becomes to much or you find yourself feeling overwhelmed refer to these resources for support:
13 Quotes by Black Women on Survival and Critical Self-Preservation by Altheria Gaston via For Harriet
4 Self-Care Resources for Days when the World is Terrible by Miriam Zoila Pérez via Colorlines
Self-Care Tips for Survivors via RAINN
Editor in Chief