Activists and wellbeing: why does it matter?

Wellbeing here refers to the state of good physical and mental health, feeling good about what you do, having encouragement in life and stability in the chosen path.

It is very important to care for your and your companions' wellbeing. Believe it or not, we, the activists, are the most important assets of social movement. Without the people, where is the movement?

Activists’ work can be quite harmful to health. As we fight against injustice and unfair systems and cultures, we face violence both directly and indirectly. Indirect violence includes, for example, that from the new and pressure from people around us for being different and ‘difficult’.

Many activists come to be in the path because they themselves have experienced injustice or violence first-handed. We are brave to turn those experiences into fuel for changes. Still, having to work around our pain points and traumas can leave health impacts if not well cared for.

Many work long hours and do multiple projects all at once. (Oops! Is that you? No, you are not alone. Though this does not justify why we should have a superhuman working culture in our movements.) Our body and mind (and our friends’) need care, like usual human, even great ones. In fact, like mentioned before, activists’ body and mind need a lot of care because we face a lot of violence and pressure. So, without the care, it is not a surprise many activists have developed health issues. However, having health issues, either physically or mentally, does not mean that we are weak or helpless. We are just susceptible to illnesses if our body and mind are subjected to heavy loads. It only means we need a break and focus on restoring ourselves to balance.

All activists deserve wellbeing in a way that works for them. It is a part of the long-term movement building. If insisting on taking care of yourself is too difficult, try to insist on wellbeing for the colleagues and friends in the movements. Let's build a culture of movement that embraces the wellbeing of ours and our friends.

ภาพ :

Auggie Patanukom

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