We all advocate for something. Sometimes it is a cause, like mental illness, other times it is a person who we love and want to see succeed, and sometimes it is ourselves. Yet regardless of what we are advocating for, sometimes we have to rest the voice, recharge the batteries, and do whatever other cliched bit of advice you can think of to take care of yourself.
Because the truth is these things became cliches for a reason. Advocating for something is hard work. It can drain you, leaving you with no spoons whatsoever. If you don’t find some way to recharge, the short and long-term consequences will catch up with you quick.
For example, this site is an important part of the mental health advocacy work I do. It is also important for my own mental health journey. I publish my battles online so that I can hold myself accountable. In the process, I hopefully help people be more open about their battles, and if they’d like to I invite them to share their journey here.
Yet yesterday I need to rest the voice. Take off my mental health advocate hat, and put on my husband and father hat. I took my mental health day with those I love, those that I advocate for and who advocate for me. Well, okay, my daughter is only three months, so she mostly just advocates for more naps and more milk, but I can see her smile when I look at her and know she is in my corner just as I am in hers.
Because that is what resting the voice gives you the chance to do. It gives you the chance to look and listen to the things in your life. It gives you a chance to remember why you advocate for the things and the people you do.
Whatever it is that you are advocating for, chances are it will still be there tomorrow, and so will you voice. So rest your voice and rest yourself if you need to. It is an important part of self-care. And as always, thanks for reading.