Can you believe what they just did? How can they do that? He said what on Twitter?
The world is never going to be okay…
How many days in the Trump era have we felt that way? The day Trump signed the first travel ban? The day we pulled out of the Paris Agreement? The day (days) I was sure we were headed to war with North Korea…
As a progressive living in the Trump age, we’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with dark days. But it’s exhausting when we’re dealing with one bombshell news story after the other, and when we’re trying to save healthcare, the environment, immigrants, net neutrality, and the media.
Call me a Snowflake, but saving Democracy is a full-time job.
If you’re struggling to make sense of all this and how it fits into your life, you’re not alone. Here’re a few ideas that may help:
Get Involved Your Own Way
Sitting on the sidelines won’t work in the Trump Era. There has never been a more important time to get involved. But my activism isn’t your activism.
Getting arrested at a protest is on my bucket list. Granted, it’s going to be something like chaining myself to a tree and not throwing bricks through windows. Thankfully, my husband’s ready to bail me out of jail when the time comes.
But you may be more comfortable making phone calls or writing letters to the editor. Maybe you’ll protest and march, or maybe you’ll run for office. Choose something that will make a difference and do it.
Because in the Trump Era, there is no try.
Find a Support System
I wouldn’t have survived this insanity without friends. Here’s me and my thousands of friends in D.C.:
The energy of that day still keeps me going. I only have to look at the pictures or watch a video. It was electric. Perhaps it sounds cliche but it changed my life. I was no longer alone! Even though I got on a bus by myself and headed to the March, I was certainly not alone.
And my support system has only grown since then. I’ve made new friends (both online and off), complained to many when things got crazy (so basically every day!), and recharged my batteries each time I attended a march, meeting or rally.
Join an Indivisible group and reach out to the members. I guarantee they’ll be there to support you.
Force Yourself to Balance Your Life
This is so hard for me. There’s always a new notification popping up with the Washington Post’s latest scoop. Sure, I have actual work to do. But it will only take a minute to see what’s going on…
Stop and take a breath. Even though the news may be incredibly important, you still have responsibilities. I’m not independently wealthy and I still haven’t gotten one of those paid protestor gigs. So you’ll have to find a way to balance your activism (and newfound love of all things Rachel Maddow) with your personal life.
Set boundaries and figure out your priorities. Learn where activism fits into your life. Don’t let it overshadow your work, health, or family time.
Because isn’t that what we’re fighting for in the first place?
Adopt a “Long Game” Mindset
I’m sorry to tell you that we’re just at the starting line. Even if Trump gets impeached and we somehow get a new President, someone else will take his place. Trump’s base is filled with people who truly believe in his agenda. It’s not going away that easy.
To survive and win this fight, we need to adopt a long-game mindset. Think 2018, 2020 and beyond. That’s why it’s essential to figure out how to live with this new level of activism and engagement.
Because we’re going to need you.