The world can feel overwhelming right now. As we strive to create a more just and equitable future, we can struggle at this time to know where to start.
While we are engaged in physical distancing, we will find new and creative ways to care for ourselves, our loved ones, and our local and global communities.
Here are some simple things you can do to help out:
To start, it is important to take care of yourself and prioritize your health and well-being. Self-care in the context of COVID-19 means keeping yourself and your community safe and healthy so that you can engage in the collective solidarity work we need right now.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest public health guidelines.
- Use our zine on “Staying Resiliant While Trying to Save the World” to support your self-care as an activist.
- Look after your mental health. Access the latest resources from the Canadian Mental Health Association or visit Finding Steady Ground. If you’re in crisis, organizations like Kids Help Phone and Crisis Services Canada are here to help.
- If you are unsafe at home due to violence or discrimination, please use services such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline, Shelter Safe, or hotlines for LGBTQ2S support. You can also access community services such as Unsafe at Home Ottawa.
- Turn to your community for support if you need it by finding a community response network in your area.
- Do something to make yourself smile. Invest in yourself and the things you enjoy.
Make sure your loved ones are also taken care of. Make space for their own self-care and find ways to connect with them.
- Connect with your loved phones, especially those that may be struggling, by phoning or messaging them regularly. Give your loved ones the opportunity to ask for assistance if they need it.
- Find creative ways to connect with your loved ones, by streaming movies online together or by having a virtual dance party. Consider joining Amnesty International’s Book Club and browsing our bookshelf for books to read with your loved ones. Join our Goodreads group to participate in discussions.
- Many people are now facing increased care responsibilities, whether for young children, aging parents, or other loved ones. This increased burden of caregiving is falling disproportionately on women. If you are facing increased caregiving responsibilites, make sure you are also taking space to look after yourself. For parents and caregivers, you can also incorporate human rights and social justice into your activities at home with these resources.
- Share this resource guide on available financial supports with your loved ones who may be struggling financially.
While we need to be physically distancing right now, it is more important than ever for us to engage in social and collective solidarity.
- Find a community response network in your area to support mutual aid efforts in your community. Can’t find one near you? Use this toolkit to start your own.
- Check-in on the most vulnerable members of your community and offer support. Use this outreach template to offer to run errands for those who might be stuck at home.
- Support food banks and other local organizations providing critical services at this time.
- COVID-19 is exacerbating existing inequalities in our communities. Speak out against racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia when you see it. Support the calls of the most vulnerable in your community.
While we support our local communities at this time, we must also extend our collective solidarity and support to our global communities.
- Stay up-to-date with the latest updates on human rights and COVID-19 on our landing page.
- All over the world, people continue to face persecution for speaking out for human rights and rights violations are increasing in the context of COVID-19. Visit our urgent action network to learn about these cases and take action.
- Connect with other Amnesty supporters and activists across Canada by joining one of our upcoming online gatherings or by organizing your own online meeting.
- Use this time to skill up by taking one of Amnesty’s online courses, including a course on COVID-19 and Human Rights.
- If you want to take your activism a step further, visit our guide on Activism in the Time of COVID-19.
- As always, activist activities and events will be updated in our Activism Planner.