Organizing Your Activism

By Alisha Bennett, LMSW

Since Election Day, and more so since the Inauguration, there has been an increase in people’s interest and action in politics across the country.  With that has comes the constant question: "am I doing enough?" Naturally, when we don't feel like we are doing enough in different aspects of our lives, we may start to experience more guilt.  There has been no shortage of events/protests to attend, calls to make, petitions to sign, letters/emails to write, and donations to make. 

As many people are still trying to figure out how to balance life during this time, my advice is to do as much as you can without causing unhealthy stress.  To alleviate some of this stress and anxiety, you may find it helpful to get organized.  Establish what is important to you, what you feel strongest about, and then do some research. 

Here are some ideas to get you started on what may seem like a lengthy endeavor: 

  • Make a list of everything you are interested in. Then prioritize your list in order of importance to you.  Start making action plans for ones of highest priority for you.
     
  • Triage your list into different categories: 
    • Red/ (immediate/now): focus more on these in the present and make plans for what you need to do to execute these.
    • Yellow (events or tasks in a few weeks-month): set calendar reminders for these and keep them in mind but try not to let this take up the majority of your focus presently.
    • Green (issues that may come up much later but aren’t current headlines): write these down but try not to worry about these until you have to.
  • Identify what events you definitely want to attend and commit to these.
     
  • Identify which organizations you want to contribute to and set up monthly donations that are affordable for you.  Since these are automatic, you can have some peace of mind knowing that you are contributing regularly. 
     
  • Join a group or attend events from a group that is already organized. 
     
  • Find your support group of friends, family, and colleagues that align with your views and interests.  Share information between each other and use each other as supports for events and/or just general angst. 

Alisha Bennett, LMSW is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy, with locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Contact Cobb Psychotherapy if you would like support in managing stress and anxiety.