Maxing out Focus-Guest Post by Isobel DeBrujah

Let’s talk about maxing out focus. I’ve spent the better part of my adult life studying crime and psychology and the absolute best place to read about this phenomenon is the Persuasion Skills Blackbook: Practical NLP Language Patterns for Getting the Response You Want. Use your new found powers only for good.

Maxing out focus is a term used most often in descriptions of grifting and con artistry. It’s what is happening when someone calls you at work and says you owe $10,000 to the IRS and if you don’t pay them they’ll come arrest you RIGHT NOW! But good news! They will take payment in the form of iTunes gift cards. (This is a thing. Look it up.)It is a tactic used to get you running solely on adrenaline and fear so that you bypass executive function and you don’t pause, you just react. If you engaged executive function you would realize that the IRS probably isn’t really going to take payment in the form of a gift card for anything, let alone iTunes. It’s the same concept that allows you to leave your coffee on top of the car or forget your very important papers as you’re rushing out the door. The human brain can only focus on a certain number of things at a time. The stronger your emotions at the time, the fewer things you can hold.

Got that? Keep it in mind.

Now, look at The Donald.

Global gag rule! DAPL! Immigration! Leaving the UN! Emulating Nazi laws on Holocaust Remembrance Day!

Now I’m not going to tell you what to get up in arms about because all of these things are outrageous and my arms are also up. Be outraged. That is the logical response.

That said, this is a marathon, not a sprint. We are in for at least two years of this. At least. That’s how long we have to wait until a national election in which we can flip part of Congress which might help some.

Pace yourself. Because the object of all of this is to spike your outrage meter so far into the red that you either collapse or stop reacting because what’s ANOTHER outrage?

https://today.duke.edu/2016/02/infooverload

http://bahaiteachings.org/do-you-have-outrage-fatigue-heres-the-cure

http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/08/06/the-onset-of-trump-outrage-fatigue/

This is a rope-a-dope. Be aware.

Self-care isn’t just being nice to yourself. It is also making sure you remain able to stay in this fight.

Pace yourself, otherwise, you do his work for him. What is that work? Normalizing horror and convincing us that anything, even an equally horrible yet slightly less overt monster is better than the one currently “leading.”

So, how do you practice self-care? I have no idea. It’s different for everyone. For me, self-care looks like music, knitting, playing with my planner and doing my nails. For you it might be art or going out dancing or whatever. It depends on your personality. Here are some suggestions from a couple of sources:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/04/self-care-for-woke-folks/

http://knowyourix.org/dealing-with/dealing-with-activist-burn-out-and-self-care/

The most important thing to keep in mind is this. You are not taking from any movement by stepping back for a moment to practice self-care. YOU ARE A VITAL PIECE OF THE OVERALL MOVEMENT. If you are in the movement, any movement, then self-care serves the movement as a whole.

Isobel DeBrujah is a seasoned and passionate writer and social rights activist. Thank you so much, Isobel, for joining us and sharing your thoughts with our community! 

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