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The past couple of years have been quite tumultuous. Not too long ago, we were grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, an event that has left many of us dealing with various mental health challenges. As we try to recover from and comprehend the impact of the pandemic as a global community, we are now also facing different social injustices that are further affecting our mental health. Over time, people around the world have raised their voices against these social injustices experienced not only during but also after the pandemic.

Many individuals might recognise the feeling of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion that has persisted since the start of the pandemic. This exhaustion, which stems from the persistent stress endured during the pandemic, continues to mount due to the added stress of coping with ongoing social injustices.

In addition to exhaustion, many may also notice an increase in difficult emotions such as anxiety, fear, dread, anger, hopelessness, and guilt. Moreover, individuals may still be harbouring trauma from the COVID-19 pandemic, often without realising it. It’s disheartening to realise that just as we are beginning to comprehend and address the effects of the pandemic, we find ourselves confronted with another ongoing series of tragedies and injustices worldwide. Many of us have been prompted to speak out against social injustices and advocate for change, adding yet another challenge to our mental health.

This leads to the question for many: how can I prioritise my mental health while engaging in activism?

We can do so in a number of ways. These include:

Practising self-care 

When engaging in activism, it’s easy to neglect our physical well-being. This can take a toll on both our bodies and minds. It’s crucial to prioritise self-care, which includes getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating balanced meals, and staying active. Remember, taking care of your body is vital for taking care of your mind.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

-Audre Lorde


You might feel pressure to forgo rest while engaging in activism or even feel guilty when you choose to rest. However, it’s crucial to remember that our commitment to self-care is essential for creating meaningful change. Recognising the significance of rest and its role in resistance is important. Taking the time to rest allows us to recharge and be more effective in our activism. Let’s fully embrace rest as an integral part of activism and encourage others to do the same.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is crucial for activism and for safeguarding our mental well-being. You can establish boundaries by saying “no,” communicating your limits to others, and setting specific times to silence your phone. Emotional boundaries are equally important. It’s essential to acknowledge and honour the fact that certain situations may overwhelm you or trigger personal trauma. 

Mindful social media use

It is important to be mindful of our online activism. Disconnecting from online sources that ignite anger and frustration, following credible news sources, logging out of social media, and even deleting your social media accounts are all ways to manage our engagement. Remember, it’s your social media, and you have the right to curate it to suit you. It’s okay to take a break from it when it becomes overwhelming.

Lean into your community

Community helps to ignite or reignite something that many of us lose sight of in our path of activism, and that is hope. This is because community helps us realise that we are not alone in what we care about. We can also find compassion, support, joy, healing and more through community. Creating safe spaces for ourselves and leaning into those safe spaces helps us take care of our mental well-being as we participate in activism.

“Ultimately, community care is a commitment to contributing in a way that leverages one’s relative privilege while balancing one’s needs. It’s trusting that your community will have you and when you need support, and knowing you can be trusted to provide the same.”

-Nakita Valerio

Create time for spiritual connection

For example, this could involve regular yoga practice, attending a church service, or engaging in regular meditation. Finding a way to ground ourselves in spirituality can significantly boost our mental health while participating in activism.

Get support 

Activism can bring up intense emotions, so it’s important to seek help when you need it. Therapy provides a space for you to share, process, and work through your feelings and thoughts. It can also support and empower you to achieve your goals. Remember, therapy is not a sign of weakness.

While activism can be tiring and demanding, it also has several benefits for our community and our mental health. Through activism, we can find a sense of community, manage our anger in a healthy way, reduce stress hormones, find hope, and alleviate feelings of loneliness. Additionally, activism helps us feel deeply connected to our values, boosting our alignment with self and our overall mental wellness.

Let’s not be afraid to embrace activism and as we do, let’s also remember to channel our advocacy to ourselves.