Activism 101: When you feel like you have nothing else to give

We are living in times where we are expected to go back to normal after everything was changed by a global pandemic. Capitalism tells us that we must keep going back to producing in order for us to survive. That’s a big expectation.

I’m not sure about y’all, but after giving to all the areas of my responsibilities, I feel like I have nothing else to give.

In today’s Activism 101 lesson, we are going to talk about having an empty tank.

Activism is a responsibility that is easy to give up. When we talk about activism, we use terms such as fighting  and struggle. Those are some exhausting words to talk about!

But activism is the WORK we have to put in. How do we find the energy to fight for liberation and equity when we are fighting for our own survival?

Here are some things to do when you feel like you are running on E.


Contrary to popular belief, rest is not evil. It doesn’t mean you are lazy or a person who doesn’t deserve to have a good life. You do not have to earn rest. I repeat: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EARN REST.

Rest is your birthright (check out the amazing folks at The Nap Ministry). Preserving yourself is how you can survive to fight another day.

Find Inspiration

Get refueled while you are resting and find some things that inspire you. Go outside in nature and cry at how beautiful the trees are despite all that they have to weather. Read some poetry . Call or video chat your best friend and laugh until your sides split.

I know I said go and find inspiration, but inspiration can’t be found. Inspiration comes from living your life and paying attention to the gifts.

Get support

Sometimes lacking that motivation could be a sign of something deeper. Constantly feeling hopeless and exhausted are symptoms of depression. Going to a therapist or talking to a trusted friend about your feelings could be helpful.

So many times we see these signs and we dismiss them because we are “functional”. We may feel like we aren’t “depressed enough” to get support. Your feelings are valid, and you have every right to get help. 

Read for more

If you are looking for more on setting boundaries about your rest and self-preservation, I suggest reading the book Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself by Nedra Glover Tawwab and Empowered Boundaries: Speaking Truth, Setting Boundaries, and Inspiring Social Change by Cristien Storm.

What do you do when you feel like you have nothing left to give?

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