A Muslim woman in black holding a sunflower.
A Muslim woman in black holding a sunflower. (Pexels/Yan Krukau)

Tips to Avoid Burnout During Gaza Genocide

Given the current state of the world, it is absolutely normal to be feeling a range of emotions, perhaps leaning more towards the negative. Keeping up with the news and current status quo can leave us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, especially when the content we’re consuming is devastating and heart-wrenching.

This can lead some of us to struggle with focusing on our studies, at work, or even engaging fully in social gatherings. Emotional exhaustion is real and as human beings, we need to take care of ourselves to be able to show up in the spaces we contribute to and create change in times of social injustice.

Here are some tips to practicing self-care when you’re feeling a bit too much:

Take a moment to reset

A Muslim hijabi standing by the sea shore.
A Muslim hijabi standing by the sea shore. (Pexels/Sueda)

This can look different for everyone! It may mean taking a day to plan out what the rest of your week will consist of, or it can mean simply doing laundry and cleaning your space (at home, at work, etc.). Cluttered minds lead to feelings of restlessness, overwhelm, and other negative emotions.

Engage in relaxing activities such as yoga, meditation, taking a bath, going for a walk, getting a massage, or even taking a nap. Getting rest is a key part of feeling relaxed and helping to soothe your mind and feelings. Resetting can serve as a way to cleanse the energy you’ve been engaging with on a daily basis. It can help us realign with our goals, focus better, and be more in tune with our lives. 

Limit your screen time

A Muslim woman lying in bed checking her phone.
A Muslim woman lying in bed checking her phone. (Pexels/cottonbro studio)

Living in a time when a lot of us are chronically online, we spend a lot of time looking at a screen. Whether it’s time spent using our phones to doomscroll on our favorite social media platform or working on our laptops to complete a project for school or work, we are way too invested living on the internet. Especially in times such as now, digital spaces are incredibly crucial as they serve as a means of acquiring information and news.

Access to information is important, absolutely, but there needs to be a sense of balance. Try setting a daily limit of how much screen time you’ll indulge in apart from essentials such as work and school — this will be personal to one’s needs and there are tons of apps you can use to be successful in this!

Engage with a fun hobby or try a new interest

A Muslim woman using her laptop while drinking juice as a type of self-care essentials during the current crisis in Gaza.
A Muslim woman using her laptop while drinking juice. (Pexels/Antoni Shkraba)

Putting your energy into a hobby you enjoy can help you feel more positive emotions. This can be reading a book, watching a favorite TV show, dancing, painting, anything you enjoy doing! If you don’t really have a hobby, perhaps this is a good time to try something new.

Maybe that means taking a pottery class with a friend, cooking a recipe you saw on TikTok, or putting together a puzzle. Engaging in activities can help your mind be on different things and brighten up your mood. 

Be in community

Muslim girls sitting together and enjoying the scenery at the park as a kind of self-care essentials during times of political unrest.
Muslim girls sitting together and enjoying the scenery at the park. (Pexels/Asad Photo Maldives)

Sometimes when we are feeling too much or feeling numb, we tend to isolate ourselves, which does not help us shift to a positive mindset at all but makes things worse. In times like these, it is even more important to be with others. Being in touch with your community is an act of self-care because it allows for you to relate to each other and can build your sense of belonging. Being around friends, family, and community can serve as a reminder that you are not alone in this! 

Of course, these tips are just suggestions on how you can practice self-care in order to avoid feeling numb because you’re feeling too much. These tips don’t substitute the guidance that a professional therapist can provide, but they can be forms of temporary remedy in a time when constant chaos ensues around us.

Remember, negative feelings are valid, but it is essential to take care of yourself while you have empathy for others as well, fight for change!

Maisha is a writer and educator based in New York City.