How to Take Care of Yourself When Marching & Protesting

By: Angela Viesti

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Being able to express our views by participating in nonviolent demonstrations is what actually makes America great. There’s no feeling like being part of a crowd that gathered because we share a common bond, be it a cause we’re supporting or an injustice we’re resisting.

It takes a huge amount of energy to put on such events and to make them safe and enjoyable to participate in. Being in the crowd also requires its share of energy and patience, and coming prepared physically, mentally, and spiritually can make all the difference in how much fun you have. Here are some self-care tips for before, during, and after a march, protest, or strike that will make all the difference.

Pre-March Self-Care

Considering that you’ll be out and about for several hours, it’s best to ensure that you start your day well prepared. You’ve had a nutritious breakfast, checked the weather, planned your commute, and packed a bag with water and healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and fruit–plus, a few joints to help mellow you out when things get hectic. So far so good, but let’s not leave without doing the following:

  • Hydrate! If you can start hydrating the day before you’ll be in great shape. You want to drink water during the march, but not so much that you’re stopping to the bathroom every five minutes. Being hydrated before you get there will save you trips to the dreaded port-o-potties

  • Stretch! Nothing ruins the high from a day of marching like foot and leg cramps. Being hydrated helps, but I strongly recommend a 15-minute yoga stretch before you head out. Check out this runner’s yoga video that’s also great prep for long walks.  

  • Protect your skin! This is no time to skimp on sunscreen, even if the weather reports cloudy conditions. UV rays can penetrate clouds and burn your skin if you aren’t protected. Bring a hat or umbrella to block your face from direct sunlight all day

  • Show your feet some love! Before you put on your comfy walking shoes, get some Melt Lotion and rub it into the soles of your feet (I actually do this every day!). While you’re at it, give them a mini-massage and express gratitude for being able to walk in the name of what you believe in

Staying Present in the Crowd

You’ve got your sign held high and your squad by your side as you navigate the streets and the crowd collectively. Chants break out all around you and you feel like part of something bigger. This is what you came here to experience.

While you’re out enjoying the vibe, make sure you listen to your body and take breaks, drink plenty of fluids, and get out of the sun when necessary. Look out for the people in your group and others around you. If you tend to get anxious in big crowds or small spaces, pair up with someone in your group so that you can be each other’s safe space if you need to break away from the group.

One thing I didn’t expect during my experience at the Resist March in 2017 was the overwhelming emotion I felt when I looked around and took in what we were all marching for—people’s human rights. Whenever we’d turn a corner and encounter an opposing group, the crowd directed their chants toward them and I could feel the energy of everyone around me. As an empath, this was super intense. Thankfully, someone in my group had a sage bundle that they lit from time to time, which helped me ground myself. I strongly suggest bringing a talisman of your own—a smudge stick, a crystal to carry in your pocket or on a necklace, a vape, Hemp-PreRoll or tincture ,—something to bring you back to Earth when your senses are overloaded. Your higher self will thank you for this!

Post-Demonstration Recovery

After you reach the end of the event, you’ll likely feel the need to decompress as you make your way back home. Plan to have mellow day post-march with plenty of nutritious food and restful activities, like a foot massage or bath—or both! Soaking in the tub will provide a much-needed reset and help you ease out of the day’s event. Throw a Relieve or Immunity bath bomb in the tub to take this to the next level—you deserve it after exercising your rights and body all day long.

Power to the People!

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Are you going to the 2019 Women’s March? Let us know how you showed up and how you recovered by tagging @kushqueenshop and @kushqueenco on your Instagram posts and stories!