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How Not to Get Burnt Out Advocating for Animals

How Not to Get Burnt Out Advocating for Animals

With such relentless cruelty happening all around us, it can be hard not to get burnt out when fighting to create a better world for animals.

Advocating for animals can be physically and emotionally challenging, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by anger, despair and exhaustion.

Here are 8 top tips that will keep you in your best form:

Celebrate The Little Victories

Rather than focus on the enormity of the cruelties we face, draw strength from the small wins that are taking place all around you every single day. Whether it’s one person deciding to go vegan or your co-worker asking your advice on dairy alternatives, hold onto these little victories and take comfort in them when you are feeling low.

Laugh

Don’t forget to just laugh, have fun and enjoy life. You don’t need to feel guilt about switching off once in a while and doing things completely unrelated to activism; it may actually be the best thing for you and the animals.

Take Care Of Yourself

Taking care of your body can do wonders for your emotional health. Exercise in any form has been proven to combat feelings of depression as well as boost your brain’s production of feel good endorphins. Running, walking the dog, hiking in the woods, or even yoga in the park are all great ways to help you relax and relieve tension. It also goes without saying that eating healthy (more fresh fruit and veggies!) and getting a good night’s sleep will prove crucial to your overall health as well.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

Surrounding yourself with like-minded activists who you can call on for support is key to avoiding burnout. Being around people who share your passions can help to build up your morale and provide a much needed sense of community. There are endless communities of people who care about animals all around you both on and offline, so there is no excuse for allowing yourself to become isolated.

Give Thanks

Activism comes in all shapes and forms and one of my favorite ideas when feeling down is to give thanks to others for the great work they are doing. From writing a note to your local coffee shop for stocking vegan brownies to leaving a comment on a heartwarming blog, letting others know you are thankful not only makes them feel appreciated but it also helps to build your own confidence.

Visit An Animal Sanctuary

Nothing beats the blues like a trip to your local farm animal sanctuary. Watching a rescued pig gleefully rolling in the mud or lamb happily skipping in a field is deeply healing, and one of the best ways to re-energize and re-invigorate you. Seeing these animals in a loving environment and acknowledging that you are helping to contribute to their happiness is enough to turn anyone’s mood around.

Focus on The Positive

There is so much goodness and hope in the world and it’s important for us to focus our energy on this, as well as the bad. Try liking and following more animal sanctuaries and pages that share positive animal stories to bring balance to your newsfeed and inbox, and help counteract the negative stuff.

Keep fighting the good fight and remember you are not alone in your efforts. Do the best you can do and don’t forget to look after yourself in the process.

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Photo Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals

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102 comments

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10:13AM PDT on Jul 22, 2014

Then you can always try saving your fellow human being for a change. We all need some help sometime.

9:53PM PDT on May 17, 2014

Agreed, Jennifer. What Vasu was claiming, however, is that Bob Barker had to wear disguises to be an advocate for animals because doing so was so dangerous. He is so clueless, he suggested that Barker had to wear masks and various things to hide his true identity or be physically harmed. Barker has never, EVER disguised himself in any way............he's never had to. He doesn't sneak around under the "cloak of darkness" setting animals in labs or farms free to fend for themselves, or torch buildings, or spray-paint vehicles or blow up trucks or take animals from shelters under the false pretenses they'll be given new, great homes and then euthanizing them and throwing their bodies in a dumpster. He and Betty White are both very vocal about what they believe and do what they can FOR animals out in the open.

3:39PM PDT on May 17, 2014

Wow, Vasu was way off base about Bob Barker. If I understood Vasu's comments it said Bob was masquerading his animal activism. Very untrue. As examples, he very openly supported Paul Watson with 5 million dollars for the anti-whaling boat "The Bob Barker". He also spent $880,000 to fly 3 elephants to a CA sanctuary, and a huge amount to fly 29 lions from Bolivia to TWAS, CO. He is one of the few big money celebrities who use their money not for vanity or show. He has given multi-millions to help animals in money, time and effort. He even stated once that he intended to die broke by using all his money for animal issues. His efforts should be admired.

As for me and my part, I do the best I can fighting against what I see is wrong, helping when I can, and being depressed when I know it will never be enough.

2:37PM PDT on May 10, 2014

Thank you so much for the great advice, much needed for many of us fighting the good fight against the vileness of 21C inhumanity to our animal, bird and swimmy friends.

11:55AM PDT on May 4, 2014

Humor is my mainstay, but anger took over with last rescue. Cannot tolerate animal abuse/cruelty.

4:26AM PDT on May 4, 2014

Agreed, Diane L. Bob Barker is an outspoken advocate. I have no idea of what Vasu M was trying to imply when he stated that:

"Bob Barker is forced to masquerade as "Jewish" or "Muslim" around meat-eating pro-lifers, or if he can freely and openly discuss animal issues with them, and convince them to go vegan, join PETA, etc. as the *solution* to the abortion crisis."

Bob Barker 'masquerading' to advocate? That will be the day, he has no problem in stating his views as an animal advocate. I doubt if you can point out any situation in which Bob Barker hid his views or appeared as someone that he was not. He never has to disguise himself around omnivores or pretend that he is something that he is not for his advocacy. He is always direct and has no problem freely speaking his mind. Why would you even presume that about Bob Barker? As for abortion, there are vegans who are also pro-choice so there goes your argument out the window.

8:48PM PDT on May 3, 2014

Oh, and Vasu, war and abortion have NOTHING to do with animal rights advocacy or animal welfare, nor are either "karma" for consuming meat. They also have NOTHING to do with being "pro life" since those are people who do not believe in abortion. I think you have no ability to distinguish the two, since you seem to be confused as to which is which.

8:45PM PDT on May 3, 2014

Vasu, what on earth are you talking about, yet AGAIN in regards to Bob Barker? He's not Jewish, not Muslim, nor does he disguise himself as anyone...............PERIOD. Bob Barker is wealthy enough to not have to sneak around to do what he wants, doesn't hide who he is, and yes, I'm quite aware of his animal rights advocacy and the fact that he's vegetarian, maybe even vegan. However, he also doesn't scream at those who are NOT vegan to promote his own opinions or beliefs. Can you please just make an ATTEMPT to get your facts straight and stick to the topic?

8:46AM PDT on May 3, 2014

About the Starfish story.... Here's a video of it, made into song by Johnny Clegg and friends. Spirit of the Great Heart on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g48_fqX7KJc

6:34AM PDT on May 3, 2014

Agreed Ron B, when it comes to having a shelter cat or dog (or both) at home is very helpful as well. Certainly, No Kill Shelters are growing and efforts for TNR are expanding.

Very true, Susan T.

Vasu M, if you really believe that the sole cause of both war and abortion is karma for eating meat, someone has a mossy bridge to sell you. I know that you oppose abortion, but please get a grip. If the world went vegan tomorrow, there will still be both war and abortion.

Nor do many people regard vegetarianism as a religious belief, by the way.

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