How To Cultivate Activism For BLM While Managing Chronic Illness
artwork by Dandy Doodlez
Many of us over the last few weeks have been asking, how can I support Black Lives Matter when I can’t even step outside due to my chronic illness?
As we watch thousands show up at protests, there are other ways those of us who cannot venture into large crowds can participate in helping fight systematic racism.
Educate Yourself and Those Around You
Social media has been a powerful tool in teaching more ways all of us can participate in advocacy towards systematic and social change for Black lives. When we cannot show up to help in person, we can choose to educate ourselves on how to do better for the Black community.
This means learning from others who have more expertise in cultivating systematic change and supporting Black artists, businesses, and organizations who have already been doing the work for a long time.
Here’s a good place to start: https://blacklivesmatter.com/
Be Mindful of Your Fatigue And Flared Up Symptoms of Chronic Illness
Our emotions are tightly wound close to physical symptoms that can become flared up when stress becomes the forefront of every day. While being informed is one aspect of supporting activism for BLM, it is okay to take a break and manage your own chronic illness flare-ups.
Meditate, soak in hot water, or do a calming activity that helps ease physical and mental stress for you. Everyone is different in their approach to managing chronic pain or flare-up symptoms, so do what feels best for you.
Some people want a calm afternoon to rest, while others need to be more active to manage the anxiety that rises up. Listen to your body and take a break to rest and manage fatigue. Flowly, now on the Apple app store, has 8 intro sessions anyone can complete when they download the app. With interactive experiences, Flowly teaches you how to control your heart rate and breathing to manage your nervous system.
Donate and Share
Many of us with chronic illness are on a tight budget with medications and doctor visits, but even donating a few dollars can go a long way in helping the BLM movement.
Here are a few organizations you can donate directly to if you feel able:
If you cannot donate, share on social media about organizations that are supporting and advocating for Black lives. Make sure to do a little research to ensure you’re sharing the right information.
Look After Yourself so You Can Be There for Others
You may not be able to be on the front lines, but your support matters when it comes to fighting for racial equality.
You are a fighter and know just how much courage it takes to advocate for yourself and those who have suffered the same diagnosis. The same goes for cultivating activism in your own world and advocating for racial equality towards a better future.
We’re in this together. Look after yourself and take it a day at a time to cultivate activism in your own life and manage chronic illness so you can show up to make actionable change.