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Have you been feeling overwhelmed by the news cycle? How about the endless push alerts? Feel like you've licked your last stamp on letters to your Senators? Author and senior reporter at HuffPost, Emma Gray has the solution:
“You need to start local. You need to pick an issue as your entryway that you have the energy to run the marathon and not just a sprint on. Use that as an entry point."
Short on time because you're working to make ends meet? Gray's got you covered:
“Follow the people that are already doing the work because there are a lot of amazing people, especially a lot of amazing women, who have been doing grassroots activism of all kinds."
It might sound simple but those two solutions didn’t come easy. They were revelations after seeing hundreds of young women outside the Javitz Center on election night. “We thought we’d be writing the story of the election of our nation’s first woman president. Obviously we didn’t write that story.” Instead she found herself on the street until the early hours of the next morning interviewing people and “just absorbing a lot of their grief and anger and fear.” Fast forward to the first Women’s March: “I saw what it looked like when that grief and fear and anger was channeled into civic action. And I just became really interested in this new energy. Who’s leading this movement and what can we learn from them?”
That was the inspiration behind her new book, A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting For Good. Because, in addition to a news cycle that feels like one long reality tv show, there’s just a lot of information to consume and evaluate. Who can you trust? It can begin to feel overwhelming. “Of course you are going to get exhausted. That is ok. The key is creating a sense of balance in your own life, finding the things that recharge your internal batteries, that truly bring you joy. Joy on its own can be sort of a radical act in times of darkness. So as long as you’re not totally just disconnecting from everything forever, I think it’s good to have a ritual of something that does recharge you, whether that’s yoga, whether that’s therapy, whether that’s spending time with close friends and family or binge-watching Netflix, which is certainly one of my personal self care habits. Just find the thing that allows you to open up space to do that more exhausting work.”
Make sure to check out Gray's book A Girl’s Guide to Joining the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting For Good. For more conversations from The Ladies Room, be sure to follow Refinery29’s Strong Opinions Loosely Held page.