Inaction May Be What’s Keeping You Unhappy (and how to fix that)

This is a post for mamas who are feeling the weight of this time, this administration, this -ugh- this 2017.

If you are like 99%+ of my clients you’re really freaking out about the state of the US right now. If you grew up in the 80′s it may feel like all of your dystopian science fiction anxieties are coming true — like Road Warrior water shortages plus Handmaid’s Tale reproductive rights shortages plus nuclear anxiety from every movie everywhere. We have problems with police violence and mass shootings that are significant enough to warrant overseas travel warnings.  Life is tough right now, You’re not imagining things.

It’s easy to get caught in an endless loop of scrolling through news sites and overindulging in comfort foods, something else that 115%+ of my new clients have come to me struggling with since last November’s election. It’s hard not to feel powerless, and that powerlessness is coming out in all kinds of unhealthy ways.

In my experience as a coach and an activist and a mother, I’ve seen that we often get that  freaked-out feeling when we don’t feel like we’re actively doing anything to address the problems we’re seeing in the world. (I get you mama. When there’s a job that needs doing you’re used to getting down to business and getting it done.)

But schedules are tight and bandwidth is low as it is. You may already feel you are at capacity, with parenting, work, and all of your other obligations. To this point, I think it’s important here to figure out what are the consequences of inaction. To do nothing is to feel feeling perpetually powerless, and that can be a stressful, anxious, and depressed place to be. That’s why many of my clients are looking for solutions that add big impact without a lot of time.

Kelly, a busy mom of two kids, says, “I know I can’t change everything. I focus on two things and only two things. That way I can do a little something most days a week. ”

That’s really good advice. I often think about it when I choose where to spend my yesses on a given week. I have many things I care about passionately, but only three that I actively organize around. That means a lot of saying no to things I just can’t make fit in a given week.

You may have a number of things that you’re passionate about. If you do and you find yourself frozen in inaction, it may be good to narrow down to one thing to start, and dive in. Whether that’s racial justice or disability rights or animal welfare or feeding hungry people is up to you. If you don’t have a passion but you’re desperate to do something, the following list will help you. These are 5 places to check out for small actions that will have a positive effect on the current climate and give you a renewed sense of purpose that may just feel better than nightly rose’ and cookie dough.

1. Solidarity Sundays is a nationwide network of over 100 feminist groups who are focused on taking action against injustice and inequities in the US. SolSun has two awesome ways of getting involved: one is the monthly in-person meetings for letter-writing, phone-banking, and social media in a friendly group setting; the other is their online daily actions, simple, scripted things you can do on a coffee break or in your pajamas.

2. Resist Bot is a free service that turns texts into calls and letters to politicians across the country. To sign up, text RESIST to 50409 or message Resist Bot on Facebook and the service will find out who represents you in Congress and deliver your scripted message to them in under 2 minutes with no apps or downloads required.

3.Wall-of-us, four concrete acts of resistance sent to your in box every week. Scripted letters and calls you can make in the car or, again, in your jammies.

4. Indivisible’s mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots network of local groups to resist the Trump Agenda. In every congressional district in the country, people like you are starting local groups and leading local actions. Another great site with tons of information plus weekly actions and updates.

5. Rock the Vote is still going strong, and now offers an easy-peas online voter registration tool that makes it ridiculously simple to start your own voter registration drive from the parking lot while the baby is sleeping or your couch while you binge watch Stranger Things.

How are you feeling, mama? A little bit better? Less helpless? Doing a little something every day adds up big, to help change the world and to transform a hopeless outlook into an brighter one.  Just remember that to take our power and resist despair, we all have to do something but none of us can do everything. Take it easy on yourself and remember why you want to make the world better in the first place. And breathe. They’re not lying when they say this stuff is a marathon, not a sprint.

How are you resisting and persisting, sis? Please share in the comments.




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