Asian-Australian Self Care

It’s been a hard little while, right? We’ve had to deal with Pauline Hanson, and a whole lot of ugliness, and some gross Islamaphobia right here, normalised in our media, and it’s been hard. It’s still hard.

Sometimes activism gets tiring, and you feel pathetic and useless when you need to take a break. But it’s important. (I had to go on holidays, for a number of reasons; not least because my counselor thought I was burnt out from 24/7 activism)

Sometimes you can’t go on holidays, but you still need to look after yourself.

Enjoy really fun non-white Australian media. Some recommendations:

Follow Nakkiah Lui on Twitter.

Follow Adam Liaw on Twitter.

Follow Benjamin Law on Twitter.

Even better, follow both Ben Law and Nakkiah Lui – Nakkiah who is a) brown b) great and c) has a lot of hilarious exchanges with Ben Law on the twits.

Hang out with us at Peril Magazine, where we’re very lovely.

Stop watching Q and A. It’s no good for any of us.

Read Growing Up Asian in Australia and let your heart glow with people just like you (or not just like you).

Be gentle with yourself when a white friend does a verbal #notallwhitepeople when you’re joking around about how white people only eat curry in winter. Sometimes your faves are problematic, and that’s okay, so long as they’re bringing you joy in other parts of your life.

Or: cut them out of your life. Maybe the price of admission (their racial microaggressions) isn’t worth it; and that’s okay, too. You don’t owe them soft-spoken, polite teaching.

You don’t owe anyone polite teaching, except maybe yourself.

(You can take your friend back, too, if you like. They were your friend before, and it’s okay to want that friendship)

You can #sendforgivenessviral, if it would help you to take on the world in that way. (This is not a way that I can choose, but I respect you if you can, or choose to).

Be gentle with yourself when you cause another another brown person a microaggression, an unintentional racial papercut. Yes, maybe you’ve just added to their burden for the day, but it’s okay. It’s sad and frustrating, but it happens, and it’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up over it.

Therapy, maybe? I wrote this a while ago, and I stand by it: Therapy for Asian Australians: A guide. Therapy: not just for white people, no matter what your parents say.

Ms Sulugna wrote Life Hacks for the Marginalized, and you could read it. It isn’t gentle, but it is true, and it’s something you can hold within yourself at other, differently trying times.

Don’t read American reviews of Australian things. No matter how bad it was, whatever happiness you feel at something Asian-Australian being published/out in the world will be diminished when some American calls it “another bad, trope-filled book to be on the look out for about #AsianAmericans by a non-AA” and you end up in a spiral rant with Liz about US Cultural Dominance and how American-centricity ruins everything.

Engage in this sort of excellence, if you can:

Complain formally about a thing, if chipping away is a thing that helps you:

Go and have a nap.

Eat something deliciously comforting (for me, laksa and chicken rice, hashtag vegan obvs).

Do something unrelated but successfully adult (Today I called my dentist, which I have been putting off for two years).

Take a break from it all. These disasters will still be here tomorrow, and you can’t help others with their life mask if you haven’t got your own firmly secured.