COLUMN: Take a break from politics

I watched the Super Bowl this weekend with a notebook close by, fully intending to jot down any cultural critiques I could think of for this column. But as I watched, I felt the life draining out of me, and not just because I had to look at Tom Brady’s ugly mug for more than a split second.

All day, all weekend — hell, all year — I’ve been meticulously critiquing current events from a political perspective. And let me tell you, I am exhausted. So I took a break from political awareness. I turned off the Super Bowl. I put on both a face mask and “The Mask of Zorro” and let the combination of soothing aloe skincare and beautiful Antonio Banderas rejuvenate my tired mind and body.

Like so many people around the country, the results of the recent presidential election have forced me into a position of activism that I never saw myself in. But in times of strife, civic duties for the average citizen are heightened. Political debates, protests and cultural critique are now an everyday part of my life.

I try my best to embrace this new position of heightened activism wholeheartedly. I protest, I debate, I write political columns and twice daily I scroll through a never-ending feed of world news on my phone.

It seems that politics has permeated every aspect of my life. It feels as though there is no part of my day in which I am not fighting for or against something. At all times, I must be on the tips of my mental toes, ready to articulate a critique or praise.

Now, don’t get me wrong, in the long fight ahead for comprehensive human rights, the continued involvement of every person is paramount. But how can I be of any help if I am exhausted? How can any of us contribute if we work ourselves past the point of our mental or physical thresholds?

Here’s where Antonio Banderas comes in. For me, Antonio Banderas is the ultimate break from reality. I fantasize about how his voice would sound reading our wedding vows, how fun it would be to brush his hair, and how hard he would laugh if I made fun of his Nasonex bee commercials. In other words, he gives me a mental break — a moment to pursue non-political thoughts

In this political climate, allowing myself these small breaks from reality has become more important than ever. If I neglect myself, inevitably there will come a moment where I’ll fall apart. And considering the state of human rights in this country, I’m not sure any of us can afford to have a nervous breakdown. Activism is highly important right now. But when your mind begs you to practice self care and take a break, don’t be afraid to listen. Chances are you’ll come back to the fight stronger than ever.

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