28 June 2017
It’s been less than three weeks since the election, can you believe it?! Most of us who campaigned, volunteered, knocked on doors or did behind-the-scenes work are only just starting to recover - I certainly am.
Elections take a massive toll on our mental - and physical - health, and it’s absolutely right that we take time out to recharge and gather our strength. But what next?
No-one really knows what will happen in the weeks and months to come - for the Green Party, for the left more broadly, or even for the country. What we do know is that the election result means a weakened Tory government, and a real opportunity for us to take the fight to them.
As we do so, it’s incredibly important that we look after ourselves and our comrades. There’s a long fight ahead, and we can’t do everything ourselves. Here are a few things to think about when it comes to mental health and activism:
1. Sharing the burden
The Green Party is all about collectivity - so take that into your organising too. Don’t let one person in your group take on all the work, even if they volunteer - it’s not fair and it’s not sustainable. If that person is you, ask for help! There’s no shame in asking for support.
2. Keep an open mind
Caroline Lucas says a lot that ‘no party has a monopoly on wisdom’ and this goes for people too! This is a time of seismic change in politics, and it’s a time when lots of us will be re-evaluating our politics, our strategy, and our priorities. Let other people - and yourself - have these debates and discussions without judgement or censure, because they’re worth having, and worth listening to.
3. Think about the bigger picture
It’s easy to get bogged down in the small detail of activism - internal politics, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics. And these things are all important, and worthy of attention. But it’s worth keeping our eye on why we’re doing it all in the first place. Why are you in the Green Party? Why are you involved in politics? What’s the goal? It’s easy to make party politics about ourselves, especially when we’re heavily involved in activism. But it’s healthy to take a step back sometimes and think about the bigger picture.