College of Education Self-Care

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Self-care and politics: We were made for these times

July 10, 2023

Dear MDECOE Community,

The recent barrage of discouraging decisions from the Supreme Court as well as other national political actions that fail to recognize equity, access, and inclusion for all can negatively impact on our mental health and spirit.  It is important that we engage in wellbeing as we are affected by these political times, but it is also important that we view self-care as acting on political causes we care about.  Brett Q. Ford, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, published a recent research article on this topic in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He and his colleagues found “When it comes to politics, there can be a trade-off between feeling good and doing good…Protecting oneself from the stress of politics might help promote well-being but it also comes at a cost to staying engaged and active in democracy.”

Author Clarissa Pinkola Estes has written an essay encouraging us to stay engaged as a form of wellbeing in the face of negative politics titled, We Were Made For These Times. Here is a brief except: “My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times… What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.”

To read more from these authors, go to

For political positions from our various professional organizations and ideas of how to get involved as a way to care for ourselves and others, please see these links below:

For a list of other self-care options, please see our COE self-care website for resources for faculty, staff, students, and the community at:

As members of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education, we were made for these times through all the caring and vital work that we do every day!