It's easy to experience burnout. These tips could help.
2017 has been a long, exhausting year — which makes a recent tweet from actor Kumail Nanjiani and its responses so, so necessary right now.
The "Silicon Valley" and "The Big Sick" star asked his Twitter followers how they "find the balance between being engaged and mentally healthy," which is a major challenge for a lot of us who've spent the past year or so being more politically active and involved with the world around us than ever before.
Burnout can take a major toll on your mental and physical health, and there's no one right solution that works for everyone. Luckily, hundreds of people responded to Nanjiani's tweet with what has worked for them.
Here's 21 of the best solutions people shared for how they balance being engaged with staying mentally healthy.
Author Jonny Sun stressed the importance of finding self-care tools on the platform you use to engage, listing his Tiny Care Bot as an example of how to bring a bit of a break to social media.
@kumailn if you're dedicated to staying super engaged, then find ppl/tools/resources on the platform you choose to… https://t.co/FGaHXGfWhl— jonny sun (@jonny sun) 1512449752
Other users shared their favorite social media escapes as well.
@kumailn Healthy doses of @HalfOnionInABag and @dog_feelings— Crys (@Crys) 1512447038
Several responses urged the creation of boundaries and coming to terms with the fact that if you set out to fix all of the world's problems, you probably won't fix any at all.
"Pick just one thing you're willing to go to the mat for," tweeted actress Justine Bateman. "Everything else you just 'support.'"
Others scaling social media and news consumption down to manageable intervals. "The world goes on whether you drain yourself keeping up or get a roundup at the end of the day," reads one response.
@kumailn Turn off notifications and set times to check social. The world goes on whether you drain yourself keeping… https://t.co/r31abroVkz— kristen 🌹 (she/her) (@kristen 🌹 (she/her)) 1512446932
"You don't need to be the archivist for every single shitty thing that happens," advised another.
@kumailn taking a day off when I need it. it will still be horrible when you get back. you don't need to be the arc… https://t.co/6JLYFbEbU6— betro (@betro) 1512446831
@kumailn I found when is was able to stay off of Twitter and shift to podcasts it helped. With podcasts the hosts h… https://t.co/q1NNGkTVqg— ashley riehlin (@ashley riehlin) 1512478144
Another popular suggestion was to make a point of doing things unrelated to whatever's taking up all of your energy, like meditation, volunteering, visiting a museum, or exercising.
@kumailn Delete Twitter, FB from phone so you're not *constantly* engaged. Spending more time at museums, parks and… https://t.co/yizUSFNGbc— Steffen Schlachtenhaufen (@Steffen Schlachtenhaufen) 1512447728
@kumailn It's important to engage in other things sometimes, and when you do: really engage. Live your life. Love.… https://t.co/Ei1FEpsgQa— Dr. Leslie Carr (@Dr. Leslie Carr) 1512447175
@kumailn I try to go to BJJ in the mornings and spend time with people who don't care about the same politics that… https://t.co/Uowpx3XxDK— wesinjapan (@wesinjapan) 1512446995
@kumailn I run a lot. I try and do some volunteer work. I watch old episodes of 'Seinfeld' and 'Fresh Prince'— Jon Daly (@Jon Daly) 1512446929
Of course, it's important to seek out the small joys in life and allow yourself to indulge a bit.
Do you take comfort in a video of an anxious goat that loves to wear a duck costume? Then you should absolutely watch it.
@kumailn There is this video of a goat with anxiety that wears a duck costume to feel better I’ve been thinking of giving that a shot.— Laraine Pennington (@Laraine Pennington) 1512447196
@kumailn You have to search the darkness for small joys. Savor the ones you find. Even then it's still tough and th… https://t.co/bPjw9nSdho— Schrödinger's Matt (@Schrödinger's Matt) 1512447017
Another tip was to try to engage with content that gives you hope, which can motivate action just as well as rage (but without having to feel so rage-y all the time).
@kumailn @MsJessJung Start with retweeting stuff that excites/motivates you rather than stuff that enrages you. It… https://t.co/jOisWEgywM— Jana Maiuri (@Jana Maiuri) 1512456942
Artist Rob Sheridan suggested channeling the frustration and exhaustion you might feel from too much engagement into something beautiful and productive.
@kumailn There's no good answer. It's hard to deny the toll this year has taken on our minds, our productivity. Jus… https://t.co/7zhDBD95QR— Rob Sheridan (@Rob Sheridan) 1512447633
If there's an inspirational quote that helps you keep your head above water, that's great. You might even consider printing it out or writing it on a Post-It note to keep near your desk as a reminder.
@kumailn Saved me on election night: "Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love… https://t.co/qHuJsEXxkn— Sarah Clark 🤓 (@Sarah Clark 🤓) 1512448239
Possibly the best bits of advice in the bunch came with suggestions to think about loved ones as a way to help keep everything in perspective.
"I look at my daughters and remember who it is we're still fighting for," wrote Phil Nickinson. "We might not win 'em all, but they'll see us trying."
If none of that helps, both "God" and Seth Rogen seem to suggest smoking pot as a solution — which, if that's your thing, do what you've got to do, but you might maybe want to try some of the other suggestions as well.
@kumailn Weed (I'm neither engaged or mentally healthy)— Seth Rogen (@Seth Rogen) 1512450865
@kumailn Weed, mostly— God (@God) 1512446706
Nanjiani was looking for advice for himself, but thanks to his significant platform, his tweet started an important discussion about self-care and mental health in our current environment.
We can all keep that conversation going.
If there's something that's been working for you — whether it's therapy, meditation, a new hobby, or something completely different — feel free to share those tips with friends and family.
If nothing else, it lets others who might feel too shy about opening up about struggles they're experiencing know they're not alone.