top of page

How to Handle Stressful News Cycles and Political Changes That Negatively Impact Us

Prioritizing Your Wellbeing in the Face of Injustice

In recent months, the United States has seen a surge in anti-trans bills being proposed and voted on in several states. These laws focus on limiting access to gender-affirming health care for transgender folks, as well as preventing trans people from participating in activities like sports and using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity. Proponents of these bills argue that they are necessary to protect “public safety”, while we know that they are an attempt to invalidate trans identities and deny gender diverse folks access to their fundamental (inalienable) rights.

The potential ramifications of these bills becoming law are immense - especially for trans youth. Studies have found that gender-affirming medical treatments can drastically reduce depression, anxiety, and suicide rates among younger transgender individuals. Trans folks and other empathetic humans have logically been overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness and distress in response to these developments.

I was recently asked how I stay motivated to keep going when it feels as though so many (esp. in positions of power) want to destroy us. This episode is an addendum to my initial jaded / tired person response.

This episode I discuss

🌈Managing stressful news cycles and political changes

🌈Validating and controlling for the toll the current political situation can take on our health

🌈Turning to the body for information to reduce stress and increase or joy during tough times

Episode Resources

Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation

Episode edited and produced by Unapologetic Amplified

Originally posted at


This transcript was generated with the help of AI.


Have you ever wondered why almost all the health and wellness information you see out there is so white, cis able-bodied and het? I know I have. And as a queer black registered dietitian, I gotta tell you, I'm not into it. I believe health and happiness should be accessible to everyone. That is precisely why I wrote Decolonizing Wellness: A QTBIPOC-Centered Guide to Escape the Diet Trap, Heal Your Self-Image, and Achieve Body Liberation and why I host Body Liberation for All.

The road to health and happiness has a couple of extra steps for chronically stressed people, like queer folks and folks of color. But don't worry, my guests and I have got you covered. If you're ready to live the most fierce, liberated, and joyful version of your life, you are in the right place.


Body Liberation for All Theme

They might try to put you in a box, tell them that you don't accept when the world is tripping out tell them that you love yourself. Hey, Hey, smile on them. Live your life just like you like it

It’s your party negativity is not invited. For my queer folks, for my trans, people of color, let your voice be heard. Look in the mirror and say that it's time to put me first. You were born to win. Head up high with confidence. This show is for everyone. So, I thank you for tuning in. Let's go.


I received a really great question recently and it resonated because that's one that in the past I'd asked myself as well. Someone asked what motivates me to keep going, even when our political environment seems opposed against our fundamental wellbeing.

My initial answer, in hindsight sounds a little salty. Even though that wasn't my intention. But that feeling, that knowing that you live in a nation, or you live in a social environment where the power structures really are set up to undermine your wellbeing - destroy you, shorten your lifespan. That is not a new experience for Black Americans. It's certainly not a new experience for indigenous people.

So when recently the attacks on trans folks have intensified. And the political undermining of trans wellbeing has been intensifying. It is a familiar feeling. And so my response sounds like that of a tired person. And this could be part of middle age. Feeling that you can relate more to folks who have lived with systemic oppression for years and years during periods of real intensity like the civil rights movement. You can understand why the older folks would say things like ‘nothing's changed, but the weather.’

This is a pattern. This failure to allow room for everyone's humanity. In the U.S. this is a pattern. And it is exhausting. Sometimes you just feel numb to it. But everyone's reaction is valid. And depending on how long you've been having these feelings and how you as an individual process that type of chronic distress over time, you know, how you initially responded to it may change. So when we are interacting with people who are really being hit with the reality of how intense injustice is for the first time. It is so extremely stressful when you start noticing and you have these continual reminders that your wellbeing is not guaranteed and there are not as many systems in place to protect you as people living shoulder to shoulder with you that have celebrated or affirmed identities in the area of the world that you're living in.

It's real. These reactions are valid. So I wanted to take a second pass at my answer and give a more comprehensive answer for how I manage and how I've seen other people manage with really stressful new cycles or really stressful political developments. And go beyond my initial answer, which sounded a little old and give a more comprehensive answer for people who are at different stages of having this experience.

Looking back at my answer part of it does still hold true for me. And that is that I find comfort in knowing that we can't be erased. And that we belong here as much as anyone else belongs here. We don't need permission to exist. We do not need permission to take up space. But the fact remains that when the political environment is saying that you're not valid or you don't exist. You are more vulnerable to other people acting against you in violent ways. And that is unnerving and it only makes sense that your body will respond to it. And that this would elevate your baseline stress levels.

One of the most powerful things I recommend, and I use myself is teaching your body the difference between a present moment, physical danger and stress related to thoughts of what could happen.

If you are sitting alone in your room, watching the news listening to how other people are systematically creating structures that will make your existence, more difficult, more dangerous.

As you ruminate on that, as you take that in, it can become impossible for your body to make the distinction between real and present danger in that room, where you were sitting alone and all of the potential dangers you may face later.

Part of us may wonder, if I don't keep my head on a swivel, if I don't stay on high alert -will I be more vulnerable?

The truth is when the danger is present, you will know.

And you will be able to navigate that situation to the best of your ability in the moment. You don't have to stay on high alert, 24/7. Staying on high alert burns you out, runs you down, and robs you of joy that you could be experiencing in the present tense.

It can feel unclear how you teach your body the difference but there are specific things you can do physically to bring yourself into the present moment.

You can also just focus on noticing – Where you're holding the tension in your body, what fear feels like in your body? And how you can make yourself feel safer in the moment?

Realizing that you need breaks from that feeling of fear and stress - searching for ways to give yourself that break.

Watching your body and paying attention to your body will make it easier for you to notice times when that tension lifts or that physical experience of fear lifts. For a lot of us that's going to be in the presence of our friends, our chosen family, and the presence of other people who share similar identities that are being undermined and attacked.

For some of us that'll be when we're completely alone - when we will feel it easier to let go of that tension or fear, because we don't feel like we have to be on high alert. Look for any area where you experienced those same sensations. That you could potentially opt out of.

Could you use more breaks from social media? Can you strategically manage the time you spend engaging with political content?

I stay tapped in to when it's time to take action. Follow groups, follow activists. Sometimes for me, the best thing is to be on their mailing list. So when there is a call to action, I can take action. But I do not constantly get these pings (like I would on social media) about more bad news in state after state, after state. Because your experience of empathy for people who share your identities could also feel like stress and tension in your body.

And one of the most upsetting things about systemic oppression to me, it isn't even just these horrific displays of violence that people are sometimes subjected to. It's the way your every day, every minute of your life can be taken from you. If you want to reclaim that and experienced life as you want to. We can't give all of our energy to keeping up with the ways that people are attacking us. Not 24/7.

If there isn't an action to be taken. The question is - Do you need this information right now? How is this information making you feel?

Do you need to expend energy, trying to convince everyone that you exist and that your existence is valid and you deserve a space in the social setting in which you were born?

For me, that's exhausting. I recently had a really nourishing meditation retreat experience.