6 Ways To Move From Overwhelmed Rage To Productive Action

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a mere 10 days since the inauguration. There’s been so much ugliness in what the President has been doing that I’ve found myself vacillating quickly between states of rage, overwhelm, sadness, and action. I know I’m not alone so I wanted to share my thoughts on key, effective ways to make a difference together. We're no longer talking about political issues, we're talking about HUMAN ISSUES.

1. Prepare yourself to pick up the phone

Hands down, the best way to make your voice heard is to use the phone. I know, I know, I hate the phone too but it’s the best way -- your call can be be brief and imperfect (and it's fine to read off a script...see next point)! Here are directories for the Senate and House. I recommend adding key numbers to your contact directory to make phone calls easy (Paul Ryan gets a lot of calls from me...ahem). 

2. Commit to spending 5 minutes on phone calls each day

We all have 5 minutes somewhere in the day -- one call can take a minute or less. Simply say your name and voice your concern (or gratitude, as often is the case when I call Massachusetts offices). There are many action prompts out there but here are my top two recommendations: 1) At Daily Action you can sign up for a daily text alert -- they tell you what the issue is, who to call, and often provide a link with backgrounder information. 2) I also like 5 Calls because you put in your zip code and it spits out a variety of issues to choose from, and also tells you who to call, what the phone number is, and gives you a script. Today I would urge you to use the Senate and House directories and call Republicans who are supporting or unclear in their stance on Trump’s travel ban. (When I called Paul Ryan's office this morning, the voicemail was accepting new messages!)

3. Get active in your community

This Edit Your Life episode on women, networking, and money really drove home the importance of getting active in your community -- the local level is where everything starts. I recommend you read The Indivisible Guide to learn how to organize locally and implement tactics that work.

4. Make a donation

Reality is, money talks and so many organizations need help. In my post The Day I Was Told To Leave America (It Was Just Last Week) I include a list of organizations to consider supporting.

5. Amplify facts and real reporting

Fake news and alternative facts are, well, lies. These days The Washington Post is my go-to for coverage but I also regularly check in on Dan Rather’s News and Guts for top stories and analysis. SHARE REAL NEWS. Also, if you’re on Twitter, there are a number of rogue science accounts that are giving me life. My friends Liz and Kristen at Cool Mom Tech just posted a roundup of 71 science, environment, and climate accounts to follow (spanning federal organizations and rogue scientists) -- you can both delight in their humor and also amplify the real, science-based information they’re sharing.

6. Empower the next generation

As parents, we have a really beautiful opportunity to raise a generation of empowered, kind, pro-active kids. Marching, phone banks, and lemonade stands to raise money for charitable donations are all awesome, but one of the best and easiest ways to to teach your kids about diversity and actvism is through books. My friend Mia Wenjen has a great roundup of 50 must-read diversity picture books, and after Laurel finishes the young readers version of I Am Malala, I am totally pointing her to this collection of 8 empowering middle grade novels for kids interested in social justice.