A Break from Reality

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lake weekend, taking a break from advocacy, taking a break from reality, the importance of self-care in advocacy

Who else feels like our reality right now…totally sucks?! 2020 has been such a hard year and if I’m being completely honest, I’m not handling it well. I did ok with the quarantine at first, but now that I’m between homes (closing on July 24! Woohoo!), I have no safe haven. Then add to that the huge civil rights movement and extremely divisive political climate and it’s just too much to handle on a daily basis. And without traveling, I feel completely lost.

I think it’s pretty clear that I’m a very vocal advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement. It weighs very heavily on me. I’ll admit that I’ve cried more in the past month than I have in years. But a big part of advocacy is actually self-care and taking breaks. You can’t be an advocate when you’re overly exhausted and not taking care of yourself. I came to this realization after reading a statistic that 40% of those who experience burnout from a cause, do not return to the cause after burning out. Taking breaks and avoiding that feeling of burnout is actually better in the long run. I’ve always felt this was the case for work, so why not advocacy? After all, advocating is hard work, right?

lake weekend, taking a break from advocacy, taking a break from reality, the importance of self-care in advocacy

lake weekend, taking a break from advocacy, taking a break from reality, the importance of self-care in advocacy

lake weekend, taking a break from advocacy, taking a break from reality, the importance of self-care in advocacy

That’s why I was able to pull myself away and spend some quality time with my family over the weekend. In fact, it was actually a significant date to us. We were celebrating the life of our cousin, who was more like a brother to us all, we lost five short years ago. We shared stories of our memories with him, ate his favorite foods, and enjoyed being together. It was a nice few days and from now on, I think I’ll let myself take breaks whenever I need them.

What are you doing to give yourself a break?

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Photos by Ryan Carpenter.