Tuesday, March 20, 2018

5 Tips for Anxious Protestors

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I have Panic Attack Disorder. I also care deeply about social justice issues. So what to do about attending crowded protests in downtown Chicago? Crowds, driving downtown, parking downtown, public transit, noise, and uncertainty are all triggers for panic attacks for me. Thus, I typically avoid those things. But part of living with an anxiety disorder is deciding what you can avoid and what is too important to miss. For me, marching for Black Lives Matter, for women's rights, and against gun violence are all worth it. I completely understand and respect if your anxiety is too severe to protest, but I wanted to share a few things that have worked for me:

1. Go with friends. Having a buddy makes a huge difference. If you can, meet up with them before you even get to the protest. If you can't, see number 2.

2. Have a plan. Part of what can make protests so anxiety-inducing is the uncertainty. Plan out your day as much as possible. If you can't meet up with your friend beforehand, set a time and place close to the protest location, but not too close (to avoid mega crowds). A Starbucks two blocks south of the usual protest location in downtown Chicago is now my meeting place go-to. I can get there early and calm down if I need to. Because cell phone reception might go out due to the large crowds (this happened to me at the Women's March in 2016), set the time and place the night before. You could even set a time limit-- for example, if the other person doesn't show up within 20 minutes and you can't reach them, you'll march separately. Did I mention I have an anxiety disorder??

3. Take public transit. I hate driving, I hate parking, and I hate public transit. Usually I just try to avoid leaving the house (mostly kidding), but one has to choose between necessary evils for the sake of justice! Even though public transit can be crowded and noisy on protest days, I find it's easier to deal with than trying to drive and park. Any downtown area is already hard to park in, and then with additional crowds and street closings due to protests, it can be just about impossible. 

4. Bring a charger. With all the texting, GPSing, and picture taking, your phone could easily die, contributing to your anxiety. Bring a portable battery charger if you can, or at least a plug-in charger. You can always stop in a coffee shop for 15 minutes to plug in your phone if you need to.

5. Take your meds. I know this tip won't apply to everyone, but if you have anxiety meds, for goodness sakes, take them! I have a medication that I take as-needed for panic attacks, but for some reason I am always hesitant to take it. Taking it BEFORE the protest instead of waiting until I'm having a panic attack during the march or on the train has been a game-changer. 

How do you deal with anxiety when protesting? I'd love to hear your tips!

Monday, March 5, 2018

March Teacher Care Crate Unboxing

Wondering what comes in the March Teacher Care Crate? Watch my unboxing video and check out descriptions of each item below!

Teacher Care Coloring Book: This adorable pocket-sized coloring book was designed by Alexa Contreras of Bilingual Scrapbook. It features teacher favorites like donuts, cacti, and unicorns! {Retail Value: $6}

Copper Fairy Lights: These pretty lights are battery operated (batteries included) and add a cozy glow to your home or classroom. {Retail Value: $6}

Tassel Bracelet: Inspired by yogic mala necklaces, this handmade bracelet can be used for meditation (use the beads to count affirmations or deep breaths), or just as a pretty accessory. {Retail Value: $15}

Art Print: This month's professionally printed 5 x 7 art print was designed by Ashley Tiburzi of The Artsy Apple. {Retail Value: $8}

Pink Clay Mask: This mask from True Beauty Organics contains Rose Kaolin Clay, Fuller's Earth Clay, Bentonite Clay, and Goat Milk Powder. It's suitable for all skin types and will leave your skin glowing. {Retail Value: $2.75}

Chocolate: This month's crate comes with two organic chocolate treats-- Equal Exchange 55% Dark Chocolate and ChocXO Milk Chocolate. {Retail Value: $1.25}

The March Teacher Care Crate has a retail value of $39-- you pay $29.99 with a month to month plan, or you can save by prepaying for three crates at a rate of $27.99/month.

If you're ready to start taking care of yourself first, head over to www.teachercarecrate.com!

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