Here’s how you can take care of your health after a day of legal protests in the streets
Art by Tricia Guevara | Photo by Hybrid/Unsplash
Protesting in the middle of a public health crisis is risky. Aside from possibly contracting COVID-19, participating in a protest can be physically and mentally draining. This is where self-care comes in. You need to make sure you’re still prioritizing both your mental and physical health. Here’s how you can take care of your health after protesting in the streets.
Head straight to the shower
Taking a shower, specifically a cold one, will remove chemical compounds (or germs) on your skin. If you’re not a fan of cold showers, switch to warmer temps after drenching yourself in cold water. Licensed therapist Kaleigh Mancha told Self that people can use this time to take a break from reality as well. You can try practicing breathing exercises or imagining the water droplets rinsing away your stress and anxiety to help your body wind down.
Hydrate and eat right after
If you didn’t eat or drink enough water throughout the day, make sure to make up for it as soon as you get home. Ideally, drinking 16 to 20 ounces (or 2 to 2.5 cups) of water within an hour will replenish your body. You also have to avoid taking in fast food and eat a well-balanced meal instead, consisting of carbohydrates (to restore energy), protein, and fruits and vegetables.
Avoid spending too much time on social media
Spending too much time on social media will only trigger anger or negatively affect your mental health, especially if you follow news about COVID-19 or politics. Scrolling through your feed could likely increase your post-protest adrenaline, anxiety or trauma, which could possibly affect your emotional and mental well-being.
It’s advisable to protest and use social media as your source of news but make sure to give yourself a break. Too much could possibly overwhelm you and affect your mood or mental health in general.
You can try coming up with a specific window for when you can or can’t use social media. Find ways to keep yourself informed but at the same time occupied so you avoid spending too much time online. Try devoting your free time to meditation, yoga or physical exercise, which the World Health Organization (WHO) says can lessen stress during this challenging time.
Ice your feet or any body part that may be irritated
Foot aches or body pain are common after a protest since you’ve been walking and standing the whole day. Ice your feet to prevent inflammation. Another suggestion is to stretch or engage in yoga (child’s pose, Matsyasana, and Sukhasana are the easiest options) to treat achy, pulsing, and inflamed muscles.
Get a good night’s sleep then fight again
Feeling the aftereffects of protesting (stress, anxiety, and fatigue) is unavoidable, which is why you have to come up with strategies to sleep better. The WHO recommends disengaging from social media or eating nutritious and filling foods instead of sweets or chips so you don’t get a sugar rush at night. You can also try to engage in intentional movement exercises like yoga or stretching to relax your mind and body.