Does the never-ending deluge of disturbing news items make it difficult for you to effectively perform the duties of your job? Do you find your mood suffering or your anxiety sky-rocketing because of the current administration’s attack on POC, the LGBTQ+ community, immigrants, women, and countless others? Does the community you serve have legitimate but increased needs and demands? Do you find it increasingly frustrating to put on a brave and composed face for your public and patrons, whoever they may be?
Welcome to emotional labor in the age of Trump.
I’m struggling myself. It’s hard to admit that I’m floundering, especially in a profession where service and selflessness are the constant goal. Confessing to distress, even in difficult times, can be seen as a sign of weakness or lack of dedication. It’s true, though. I do find some days and certain conversations to be exhausting, and I appreciate when fellow librarians and educators are candid about current stresses on job performance. We need to know that we’re not alone in this and find ways to support each other.
Burn-out is real. Those doing emotional labor, whether they be teachers, librarians, day-care workers, nannies, anyone in the health care field, social workers, and on and on, are focussed on the well-being of others. We try to be dedicated to and invested in those in our charge, especially in this current political climate. Those targeted by the Trump administration are often those we interact with every day and it is our job to support them. However, in doing so, we often forget to recharge, take stock of our emotional reserves, and engage in self-care. Many of us, in addition to being concerned about our patrons or those we serve in our work-related communities, have personal concerns about our futures in this country. Yes, we need to share our strengths with our communities now, more than ever. But none of us are any good to anyone when we’re running on empty.
In addition to activism, which I feel like I could be doing more of (don’t we all?) and donating money to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, etc, I’m doing my very best to take care of myself. I have loaded the Streaks app with self-care activities (reading, journaling, hydrating, etc.) to encourage myself to be a little bit more mindful of my overall state. I know, though, that I am privileged to work for a school that gives me ample time off every year. I am lucky enough to be able to get enough sleep most nights. I am not monetarily restricted from engaging in many self-care activities. I know that, in many ways, I am a very fortunate person.
This is why I want to share some little self-care kits with people who may need them. I know there are people out there working harder than I am am, with communities more at-risk than mine, and who have less access to resources than I do. This is a token of my sincere gratitude to people putting in the hard work every single day for very little thanks. It’s not much, but I three little packages to offer:
#1: The first is of three zines: How to Not Always Be Working by Marlee Grace of Have Company, as well as two by Adam Gnade: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Fighting the Big Motherfuckin’ Sad (which I have talked about extensively here) and Simple Steps to a Life Less Shitty.
#2: The second batch has all the zines from kit #1, but also includes Adam J. Kurtz’s Pick Me Up.
#3: This final batch has all the zines from kit #1, but also Yumi Sakugawa’s Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe.
Fine print: I purchased all of these items myself, except for the copies of Adam Gnade’s Simple Steps to a Life Less Shitty, which he donated to this giveaway because he’s just one of the very best people. Check out his amazing titles here. If you’re one of those “are these from a pet-free home?” people, I really do apologize. Some librarian stereotypes are based in truth, as these zines and books reside in an apartment that houses a giant cat with no sense of personal space. You can only win one kit. If you win, you must be willing to give me an address to mail them to. This open to United States peeps only. Feel free to enter for yourself or someone you love. Hey, you can split up the zines and distribute them to whoever. The giveaway ends on February 28, 2017.
To enter, here is the link to my very simple Rafflecopter. It would be cool if you followed the blog, liked me on Facebook, commented below, or shared this post, but it’s not necessary. I hooked up the Rafflecopter so that it directs you to visit this blog’s Facebook page, but no further action is required.
And hey, if you love Trump and everything his administration has to offer and think self-care is for entitled liberal snowflakes, you don’t need to troll this page or me, but you probably will. If it makes you happy, fam, who am I to stop you? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Hey, librarians, teachers, social workers, nurses, activists and everyone fighting the good fight? Thanks for all that you do. I appreciate you.
~Nevertheless, persist,♥ Ingrid