Self-Care is So 2020 - Welcome to Community Care

We love chocolate and bubble baths but that just won't cut it any more in 2021

We are all here because we care about our communities and we want to be part of the change. Whether you march in the streets or create space for your community to thrive, you are doing something and that makes you an activist. 

But activist burnout is real and can dampen — and even extinguish — movements. And while self-care is a helpful antidote to burnout, research urges a shift from self-care to community care.

According to Psychology Today, instead of individuals attending to their own needs outside of their activism, a collective approach would respond to the activist community’s needs at large. Thus, burnout wouldn’t be an individual plight, but an issue dealt with collectively. This shift in culture would help ensure that a movement has both the strength and longevity to achieve change.

Here's what causes burnout:

  1. Emotional causes. Participants grappled with feeling profound personal responsibility for eradicating racism, a deep relationship to racial justice, and isolation. One participant, Alejandro (Latino man, forties) said his burnout was due to “human isolation, having to be the one naming things ... carrying a lot of everybody’s stuff."

  2. Backlash causes. Backlash involved putting one’s employment or body in harm’s way. Activists felt that they couldn’t talk about their activism at work, or they would be professionally and/or economically vulnerable.

  3. Structural causes. This factor refers to the challenge of creating change in the face of unyielding white supremacy. In addition, and apart from their activism, participants’ everyday experiences of racism contributed to their burnout. In particular, the pervasive denial of racism was particularly exhausting. Consider the experience of Andrew (African-American, forties): “Those are ... the areas that ... provide the most fatigue. Having these conversations [about Black Lives Matter] over and over again where you’re justifying your perspective, and the knee-jerk resistance.”

  4. In-movement causes. All participants said that their burnout had to do with how activists treat each other. Activists found infighting and “ego clashes” within activist communities exhausting. They expected to find likeminded people, but found that competition often overrode cooperation. Consider the perspective of Deborah (African American), who felt undermined by white activists who refused to accept direction from activists of color. She remarked, “Clearly there’s tons of freaking white people who don’t get it.”

So What Can We Do About It?

The research has shown that the two most successful ways to prevent and combat burnout are:

(1) for individuals to prioritize their long-term career and activist development and

(2) for organizations and movements to actively attend to the activist community’s needs.


How Does SameSide Work to Prevent Burnout?

SameSide was created in 2017 to help more people get involved in activism in a way that fits into their lifestyle. We understood early on that the community bonds that fuel personal growth are vital to sustaining engagement in movements. That's why we pair activism with the things you do every day. 

Like when Kady Lafferty of Big Booty Yoga hosted a Purposeful Flow: Prince Yoga session for LGBTQ rights. 

Or when The PUSH MVMT hosted Votest, a live music show in the heart of Venice, CA to bring out voters and drop their ballots. 

Now, we've taken the SameSide community online so that anyone, anywhere can connect with a supportive and creative community committed to advancing the most important causes of our time. We know the importance of community and and dedicate our space to creating a fun, vibrant and soul-fulfilling space for all to thrive in their activism - whatever that means to you. 

When you join the SameSide Community, you get:

  • Your own profile to showcase yourself, your work and your story
  • Access to our Member Directory to build one-on-one relationships
  • The opportunity to advertise your business to our network
  • Intimate conversations with leading activists and political leaders
  • Member-led "Circles" to connect with others who share your interests
  • Open access to our members only "Jobs & Collabs" board
  • Discounted entry for LA members to our monthly in-person SameSide event
  • Full use of the SameSide video archive, including interviews, classes and virtual events so you never miss a thing!

If you haven't already, join the SameSide Community for more ways to collectively nourish and flourish your activist soul. 

Your first month is free!

Learn more