Being a vegan activist in a speciesist world and having a conscious awareness of animal exploitation can be physically and emotionally draining. Creating the time and space to recharge should be high on our to-do lists, but it isn’t easy and we know that.
Animal Save Movement activists use a love-based and caring approach to highlight the importance of a healthy community and motivate the activists to take care of themselves in the process of making this world a better one.
What is self care?
Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It isn’t selfish or a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that we have the strength to give ourselves what we need, to nurture ourselves and take care of our minds, emotions and physical bodies.
Common examples of self-care are things like exercising, eating well or meditating. But it looks different for everyone and that's ok.
For us, self-care can also look like:
- Taking a break from social media
Limiting your consumption of bad news (or news or general) can have a huge impact on your mental health. Give yourself the time to process everything that's going on right now and take breaks from your phone.
- Taking some days away from activism
It's okay if you need to slow down or even quit for a few days. It can give you more strength to keep fighting in the future. Don't be sad or embarrassed to admit that you need a break.
- Taking time off from meetings
Taking care of yourself is also productive. Your fellow activists will understand. They want the best for you as they want for other animals.
- Saying no to another commitment
Set healthy boundaries. There is no shame in saying you can't or don't want to take any more tasks. Cutting down your to-do list can help you be more productive on the tasks you are already committed to.
YOU MATTER: Mental Health for Activists | ASM Training
As a part of a "Care for Activists Week" in 2020, Animal Rights Activists and Psychologist, Vera Rodriguez, provided activists with tools to improve their mental health, and make activism sustainable. Check it out below: