Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Let’s Talk About It: Small ways to survive

Posted on February 06, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

By Johnna Ossie, News Editor

Is there anyway to keep my head above water these days? I was at a coffee shop last night and my friend working behind the counter was telling me how things in her personal life are great, but that feeling is clashing with everything else going on in the world. I’ve been feeling the same way. I went ice skating at Thompson’s Point last week when USM was hosting a free skate night. I had fun, but in the back of my mind I couldn’t stop worrying and thinking about the last two weeks, and the next four years. I keep thinking that at the exact moment that I am laughing and enjoying myself, someone is being detained in the airport because they come from one of the seven countries on Trump’s ban list, that refugees are being denied entry to our country, that Trump and his cronies are passing yet another executive order to take away the rights of American citizens.

In every USM classroom there is an “Active Shooter Response” poster instructing the USM community on how to act if someone is on campus, with a gun, killing people. All students received an e-mail letting us know that an Active Shooter Training video was available to us. The e-mail read, “The University of Maine System is committed to ensuring that you continue to live, work, and study in a safe and healthy campus environment.  Emergency preparedness is a critical part of that commitment to your well-being.” This is the world we live in, the world we have been living in, but it just seems to keep getting scarier and worse.

In order to keep moving forward, and in order to have the energy needed for the fight ahead, there are some things I’m trying to do to take care of myself.

Drinking water. Sometimes I get so caught up in organizing and classwork and my job and trying to keep up with the news and battling feelings of impending doom, I go the whole day without drinking any water and then wonder why my head hurts at night. Drink water! Two to three liters a day is the recommended amount.

Adequate Sleep. Getting enough sleep is crucial to having enough energy to fight fascism. However, this is not the same thing as sleeping all the time to avoid what’s going on (which I have done, and will most likely do again).

Eating well. I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables and avoid eating things that I know won’t make me feel great. That’s not to say I haven’t also been stress-eating mochi in bed at night, but I am trying to feed my body what it needs to stay healthy, especially since I’m probably about to lose my health care.

Taking a break. It’s hard to know when to turn off the news, or stop looking through Facebook for the newest assault on our society, but sometimes it’s ok and absolutely necessary to take a break. It doesn’t do anyone any good to spend four hours reading the news at 11 p.m. and then fall into a spiraling panic that leaves you unable to get out of bed for several days (I’m speaking from experience).

Self-care is critical to the movement. Self-care will keep you alive and well enough to do the work that needs to be done. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others, and keep fighting the good fight.