by Laurie Nerat, LD18 Democrat
Turn on the news or scroll through your social media lately and your head begins to spin. There are so many issues that have you seeing red. It is heartbreaking and frustrating. Being an informed citizen has become a true test of emotional endurance and many of us are feeling overwhelmed. Experts have dubbed this sentiment Outrage Fatigue.
You know that feeling; you can’t even turn on the television because the news is a non-stop litany of the ways in which our country is being torn apart. From images of children in cages, to experts talking about the dismantling of Obamacare, to the EPA dropping important health and safety regulations, the list goes on and on. Add to that our issues here in Arizona with overtly racist legislators, challenges with education funding, a Superintendent of Public Instruction trying to destroy science standards, it is enough to push anyone over the edge.
What can we do?
First, it is important to take a media break once in awhile. Listen to your body. Turn off and tune out. Find something that gives you joy. Read a light-hearted book, watch a sweet, heartwarming movie, spend some time outdoors, play with your children or grandchildren, and give yourself a much-needed mental break. Remind yourself that there are good people in this world and good things worth fighting for.
Second, you need to pick your battles. You can’t do everything, but you can do something. Pick the cause that is closest to your heart and/or the candidate(s) you believe in most and focus your efforts there. Recalling the old story about the starfish, try to make a difference where you can.
Third, remember that this onslaught of negative stories is intentional. Don’t fall for every distraction that comes along. Pick a target and stay focused.
Find a way that you can help. We all have unique gifts and talents and LD18 has volunteer opportunities for everyone, find something you can do to help.
Are you outgoing? We can always use folks for canvassing and phone banks. Are you good at writing? LD18 Dems has a group of folks dedicated to writing letters to the editor on issues that matter to our district. Are you good with data? We have folks who help with that. Are you a social media guru? We have a social media team that would love your help. Do you love entertaining? You could host a House Party for one or more of the candidates. Can you volunteer some time for office work? Can you drive for folks who are canvassing? Do you want to help register new voters? There is a job for everyone.
Getting out there and doing something is the best way to deal with those feelings of outrage and frustration. Together we can all make a difference.
Laurie Nerat, Precinct Committeeman in the Foothills Precinct of Legislative District 18.
Header image from UrbanDictionary.com – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=outrage+fatigue