“Leadership is an active role; ‘lead’ is a verb. But the leader who tries to do it all is headed for burnout, and in a powerful hurry.”
In looking for ways to take care of our communities and to offset the consequences of leadership that may not have the best community interests at heart, I have to give myself a threshold for what I am working to do, and set a limit for myself. I have to know when I can no longer continue to contribute constructively to the fight. I know that it’s not easy while advocating and taking action, but if limits aren’t set, then I’ll find myself too burned out to fight any fight, any more.
It is important to remember that:
1) Not everything is a battle.
Some of the “issues” that make it to media are just there to create the visceral response that exhausts your and my need to fight. It’s sensational and created to intensify stress, so that when something that can be changed is introduced, we are too tired and stressed out to remain passionate enough to change anything. The best way to respond to items like this is to ask yourself: “Can I do anything about this?” Most likely, the answer is “No”, find a battle that you can win, and fight there.
2) Not every battle needs to be a fight.
There are currently more and more battles being created to induce stress and visceral reactions everyday. As a community that is looking to create a lasting resistance to the unnecessary difficulties of life, these battles only add to those obstacles. The best way to resist is to join one or two efforts and stay aware and active regarding those specific efforts.
3) Focus on short-term and long-term goals.
If you are like me, then joining this fight needs to have an “end game”. We all know what the ideal is, but the best way to stay focused and aware is to set a reasonable and achievable goal or set of goals that can be monitored and adjusted over time. This allows for milestones and measurements toward the ideal resolutions.
4) Learn when “enough is enough.”
For many of us, the news stays on and the information needs to constantly keep coming, but that is also the very cause of burnout. The best way to deal with “information overload”, “overstimulation”, and “activist burnout” is to recognize what makes us tired, and to unplug from the internet. Take some time and step away, you will be more effective when you come back.
And finally, and probably most importantly,
5) Take care of yourself.
Meeting everyday needs are important. For many people, that may mean taking time to engage in a regular hobby, but for some people, it may be more complex. Self-care may mean listening to uplifting music, reading daily affirmations, and keeping positive energy around. That may include limiting time with certain personalities, and no longer watching television shows that create certain moods. Regardless of how adjustments may be made, mental health professionals and care providers are in the community, and can also offer assistance, use them.
Moving forward can only be done if we work together, but we can only build a lasting movement if we take the necessary steps and are proactive in maintaining safety and security. I hope that this information is helpful as we continue to move forward.
***The views expressed on this blog are mine alone and not necessarily those of Greater CAN RISE NC”***