So you want to organize and join the resistance against the Trump administration, but you have a mental illness – or physical – that makes travel, large crowds, reaching out to people, planning ahead, and maybe even just getting out of bed extremely difficult. You know the new leadership in Washington DC will likely gut your health insurance, so your livelihood is at stake. You might even feel guilty about not being able to join those large-scale protests. I know. I didn’t go to the Women’s March because of my driving anxiety and my agoraphobia. I decided to make this list for myself, and I hope it helps you as well.
- Donate to these organizations if you have the money, but don’t feel obligated. There is a plethora of ways to help that doesn’t require any money. Don’t stress yourself out or guilt yourself.
- Write letters to your representatives and senators. Make your voice be heard while you’re still lying in bed.
- Go to a local protest if you can. If the Women’s March seemed daunting because of the crowds, but you still have the desire to protest, keep up with what’s happening in your community. Usually Facebook pages are made for these sorts of things, and you can check the events page on your newsfeed for protests near you.
- Be there for your friends and loved ones, and let them be there for you. Odds are, you know someone else who is threatened by the Trump administration. You don’t have to do it often, but periodically check in, especially if an action taken by DC directly affects them. Don’t feel annoying or guilty for taking up their time when they show reciprocal concern.
- Use your story to shed light on why a Trump administration is something you fear as opposed to debating talking points. The most effective way to change people’s hearts on political issues is knowing someone personally who is threatened by their views.
- Be yourself. Don’t compromise just because it makes someone uncomfortable. This is resistance in and of itself.
- Take your meds, eat a meal, and listen to your favorite song. I know how disheartening this election cycle was and looming presidency is. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing recovery. Continue living even if it’s out of spite.
- If you hear, see, or read about behaviors or attitudes that further harm marginalized people, try your best to say something in the least combative way you can. It will kill two birds with one stone: calling out bigotry or discrimination and completing your therapist’s assignment to initiate an interaction with someone.
- Support the people you know in their activism. Is someone you know traveling to a protest near you? Offer to let them stay at your place. Is a friend throwing a party with a donations’ box for a local women’s shelter? Donate something even if you don’t stay for the party. Is a family member trying to start a chapter of an organization in your area? Ask if there is anything he or she needs (flyers printed, etc.), attend meetings if you can, and invite friends on social media to the chapter’s events. There’s always plenty of behind-the-scenes stuff to be done.
- Do the same for organizations you support, and if you don’t have any the above list is a good place to start. Check their websites, or email them to see if there’s anything you can do that won’t be too physically or mentally taxing. This one’s a pretty big step, so only commit if you’re ready to take on a little more responsibility. But it is a good stepping stone in getting to the point where you can be the activist you want to be (even if that still means doing behind-the-scenes work – whatever you’re comfortable with is perfectly fine) and in recovery in general.
Bottom line, start small, stay local, and don’t feel required to do more than you can to call yourself a member of the resistance against Trump. Take care of yourself first, so you can better take care of others later. No act of resistance will ever be too small, and if anyone tells you otherwise, he or she wasn’t resisting on behalf of all marginalized Americans anyway.