I am exhausted! After years of political turmoil in this country, I can’t stand it any longer. I feel anxious, concerned, and worried. Further, I am tired of arguing with my neighbors. It used to be we could all get along, but those days seem long past. How do I handle what seems to be a never-ending world of political strife and turmoil that overwhelms me on a daily basis. Help!
Wow! Your question hits home I am sure for many people. No matter which side of the aisle you are on, the discourse of what is happening along with the events unfolding each day across a wide range of global concerns is enough to want to simply close your door, pull the covers over your head, and check out!
If you are feeling this way you are dealing with political exhaustion.
Of course, this is understandable:
- You read the paper and find yourself bombarded with news headlines that are troubling
- There is the realization that you are only one person and the question comes to mind, “what can one person do about any of it anyway?’
- You are on social media and there are requests for your money and time to support causes and show up to one more rally
- You listen to the news and the political talk heads speak your language and incites more concern and worry
- You bring up a topic or contribute to a conversation with your neighbor and all of a sudden you find yourself in a hot argument because the other is never going to see the world as you do – not interested
- You try to refresh yourself in nature and your mind is plagued wondering if the animals and trees and fresh air will be around for your kids and grandkids
How can one continue to stay engaged without drowning in exhaustion? After all, you are only one person.
I think it is important to be honest with yourself and be true to yourself. If you are feeling exhausted, disinterested, lethargic toward all of these cares, then it is time to change up one’s routine and ways of interacting with our current political construct.
Mainly this involves holding boundaries around where you will and will not put your time and energy into and prioritizing putting time into yourself and your care. There is no fight without the people and so taking care of one’s self is one of the most critical ways to keep up the fight.
There is no shame in taking a break and refueling yourself. Here are some helpful tips to treat your political exhaustion:
- Go on a news diet and limit how much you read and watch in a day
- Say no to events for awhile and, when you feel ready, be discerning about what you choose to say yes to
- Self Care — whatever you do to care for yourself, do more
- Let go of the guilt of stepping back – the struggle will still be there with you either exhausted or refreshed
- Choose to spend time “doing good” – most likely the flow of doing something good for yourself, another, your community, your neighborhood, your friends and family will recharge you in a way that is not depleting, but fulfilling
It is inevitable to become politically exhausted. This is not a short, quick battle, but a long grind that all of us must contend with each day. We are running a marathon not a sprint. Take care of you and let go of the rest while you need and want to.