I wrote the title of this blog post while sitting in bed with my cat. It’s a Sunday, so I don’t have anything specific that I should be doing. I don’t have to be at work. There are chores, such as laundry, that I should attend to, but I’m very comfortable in my bed right now.
However, it isn’t an ordinary Sunday. On Friday, President Trump (I still haven’t gotten used to referring to him as President, so it made me slightly queasy to type that) signed an executive order on immigration. According to the New York Times (or FAKE NEWS! as Trump calls the newspaper), the executive order “indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the United States, suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, refugees or otherwise, from entering the United States for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.”
Yesterday, there were protests at airports across the country. I wanted to join the protestors at O’Hare airport, but I’ve had a cold the past few days. I stayed at home and scrolled through social media instead, reading about the ACLU’s win in court on Saturday night and the emergency stay that was issued by a federal judge.
Since Trump won in November, I’ve felt helpless and hopeless about the future. I am deeply saddened and terrified of the damage that will be done by this administration. I often feel a lack of motivation, as well, because of my anxiety and depression. When I’m not working, I lay in bed with my laptop and watch The Americans because the problems of the ’80s seem like such a long time ago.
However, I want to make a change. I want to get more involved in ways to resist Trump and his administration. I also want to continue to prioritize my mental health. Here’s a few ways to support the resistance.
1.) Call your representatives. Aparna Nancherla, a comedian, tweeted a list of tips when calling, including only call your own representatives and state your position without giving a reason why that’s your position. You can find your senators here and representatives here.
CALLING YOUR REPS!! HOW TO DO IT EFFECTIVELY! Long but you only have to read it once. pic.twitter.com/Qy0OerGk7P
— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) January 29, 2017
2.) Stay informed, but take breaks from social media and the news. It’s important to stay up-to-date on current events, but it can also be incredibly overwhelming if you overdo it. You should take time to practice self-care. I was getting upset as I continued to read the news yesterday, so I took breaks to play with my cats (even though they prefer to be ignored), eat dinner, and watch TV.
3.) If you are able to donate, give to organizations that support refugees and other vulnerable populations. The International Rescue Committee, ACLU, National Immigration Law Center, and the International Refugee Assistance Project are all essential organizations that deserve your support.
4.) Protest Trump’s policies. I want to get more involved in ANSWER Chicago, which is “part of a national anti-racist and anti-war coalition” that is protesting Trump’s agenda. Find an ANSWER chapter in your area.
5.) Volunteer with an organization that supports people in need. I have volunteered at fundraising events for Planned Parenthood and it was a great way to meet likeminded people. I also just found out about an organization in Chicago called the Syrian Community Network (SCN) that seeks “to empower Syrian refugees in achieving a seamless transition and relocation to the United States through connecting people to the right services and support networks.” I am going to inquire about volunteer opportunities at SCN.
If you have anxiety, it is most likely difficult to take that first step and speak up or ask about ways to get involved. If that’s the case, you can write down what you’re going to say beforehand. Echo Through the Fog provided a helpful comic on how to call your representatives when you have social anxiety.
As Heben and Tracy of the Another Round podcast would say, “Take your meds! Drink water! Call your Mom!” Remember to take care of yourself. You are important. You are needed.
Please leave suggestions on other ways to get involved in the comments below!