It’s not Wednesday, again. Considering everything going on lately, and particularly during the past week, writing about how I was feeling last Wednesday felt a little…trivial. What was going on in my health and fitness journey didn’t seem worth sharing in light of the incredibly powerful events happening all over our country and the world.
I also wasn’t really paying much attention to my health, overall. I ate fine, overall, and I did all my workouts (even with having injured my already wonky hip), but sleep and showers and taking time to recharge mentally and emotionally did not happen. This post is not going to be my usual breakdown, but instead, my thoughts on how I (and maybe all of us who are feeling passionate and burdened toward change in this season) can balance activism, allyship, and movement with enough rest that we don’t find ourselves utterly spent and useful to nobody.
Obviously, sleep is the most important. Last week, my sleep was entirely thrown off by my feelings, wanting to stay connected to livestreams of local protests, and, in doing so, staying glued to my phone, and up way too late. This led to getting up late and being entirely at loose ends as to how to go about my day in a productive way, and starting the cycle again of being glued to my phone.
I got almost nothing done last week of import for myself and my family other than working out and getting caught up on the laundry, because I was consumed by what was happening with all the protests. I spent very little time, comparatively to the usual, engaging with my kids, and even during the time I spent with Scott at night, I was glued to my phone-this was just not good for me. The conversations I was having were important, and I still want to stay in touch with what is going on, and I want to help, but as an empathetic person, I need to set boundaries for myself, because all these other things in my life matter too.
So, how can I continue being an active ally without losing myself and my other priorities and digging a deeper hole for myself and becoming unhealthy?
First, I need to ask myself what things are important to me on a day to day basis. These are not in any order of importance, but all things that I want and need to keep going.
- good sleep
- quality nutrition
- engagement with my kids
- education of my kids (yes, even though it’s summer)
- quality time with Scott
- allyship/loving others
- down time/recreation
In order to make all this happen, and not burn out, I have to start, *where?* That’s right, with *sleep*. But sleep starts with getting off my phone, so, again, I need to focus on the evening routine. Glasses on, phone down, sleep supplement, discipline to go to bed, even when staying up sounds more fun.
Next, I finally realized that the morning routine I thought I had to grind myself into needed a tweak. For week, maybe even months, at this point, i had been trying to get up at six and be working out by 6:45, and it has rarely, if ever worked, and I’ve lost a lot of my intended writing time. Starting tomorrow, I will be getting up at six, eating breakfast, and *writing* until 7:30, and aiming to start my workout by 7:45. This should give me a transition opportunity to get the kids eating breakfast before i start my yoga around 8:30, followed by my next priority- Soul Care.
I have lost a lot of soul care time to feeling at loose ends with my morning routine too, and that was compounded last week by being glued to my phone to make sure I wasn’t missing opportunities to support, in what limited ways I am able, my BIPOC friends. I need that time, to connect and refresh and renew *every* day. So, every day during soul care time, I am going to keep my phone out of sight and out of reach. I can see on my watch if I have a text, but I need not to be distracted by social media during this time especially.
Food is easy, as long as I plan ahead with intention, and as long as I get good sleep so I’m not too tired when it comes time to cook. I have planned ahead for this week, already, so, *check*. Praise God for that.
Engaging with my kids comes naturally when I am taking care of myself in the above ways and *yes* when I don’t have my phone in my hand. Seeing a theme, here?
So, if allyship/ loving others is one of my priorities, and one of my best tools to stay connected in this weird season is Social Media, but I also need to limit my phone usage, how can I make this happen?
Well, it’s going to require a little effort to both care for myself and my friends, but I can do it. Allyship is obviously more than sharing social media posts. It’s conversations- some with my POC friends, listening to their thoughts and hurts and experiences, with my white friends, coming alongside to encourage them in being better allies, in speaking when it’s easier to be silent because I hate arguing. I have already learned that some conversations aren’t going to be productive, and all I need to do there is speak truth (in a calm way) and let it be. It’s better to save my emotional reserves for where it will make a difference.
I can still use social media and stay connected that way, but with boundaries, and intentional limiting of the time I spend. I’m not yet sure what that looks like, but it needs to happen.
But another thing I can do, is continue to learn, to educate myself, to read and listen, outside of social media, outside of the internet. Soon, in the next few days, or so, I hope to give y’all a list of the books and resources I am using right now and hope to use in coming weeks and months to learn more.
I feel like humility is my best tool in becoming a better ally. I know I will never know what it is like to be Black in America, but I am going to learn all I can, and I am going to stand for justice and love, and teach my kids to do so also. I feel like my most powerful tool is my motherhood. I can change the future by changing the narrative my kids grow up with. Lexi and I have already begun having important conversations, and we will continue to. I will learn history from a perspective other than the whitewashed version I was taught, and teach it to them also. Declan will grow up knowing that, while he is privileged by virtue of his skin color in this country (this world, really), he needs to use that to love others and close the gap, to, as much as he is able, make his the last generation that has a gap. I will teach my children to love and champion and amplify and lift up those who are different- not to be colorblind, but to see and celebrate the differences in cultures.
But I can’t do any of that if I don’t get off my phone and go to bed on time.