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Thursday, June 13, 2024
The Observer

It is OK to be tired

Duncan, Oklahoma Nov. 18, 2019 Three dead

Fresno, California Nov. 17, 2019 Six injured Four dead

San Diego, California Nov. 16, 2019 One injured Five dead

Santa Clarita, California Nov.14, 2019 Three injured Two dead

In the past four days, 16 people have been shot and killed. In the past 11 months, that number grows to 34,519.

One tragedy follows another until they blur together into a constant stream of headlines that punctuate our news feeds. The effect is dizzying. One cannot mourn, process or speak out about one loss before the next one comes along.

You sign a petition, you send a tweet, you text a loved one. But it never feels like enough when all your efforts are bulldozed by the next onslaught of devastations.

It is OK to admit that you are tired.

It is overwhelming and exhausting to keep up with the daily disasters that dominate the news cycle.

Our planet is on fire. Our president is corrupt. Our students are being gunned down.

I will admit there are times when I scroll past articles about the newest tragedy, because sometimes I just cannot.

It makes me feel guilty. It is, admittedly, a privilege to be able to swipe away from a headline. It is a privilege to be able to pay attention only to the memes on Twitter rather than participate in critical discourse. It is a privilege to be able to put the phone down when it all becomes too much.

However, compassion fatigue is a real thing. One can legitimately develop anxiety, or apathy, when they are overloaded with the immensity of the world’s social issues.

We must continue to care, to fight, to protest, to love, to demand, to act. But we fail to do any of those things when our emotional bandwidth is completely drained.

It is good to set boundaries. It is healthy, not selfish. It is good to be gentle towards oneself. It is productive, not lazy.

Please, don’t feel guilty for respecting and acknowledging what you can handle and when you need a break. Turn your phone off. Breathe. Cry. Nap. Go to therapy. Do whatever it is you need to recharge.

The cause will still be there when you come back, and you’ll be able to fight even better than before.

Paige Curley is a senior and can be contacted at

Show Some Skin is a student-run initiative committed to giving voice to unspoken narratives about identity and difference. Using the art of storytelling as a catalyst for positive social change across campus, we seek to make Notre Dame a more open and welcoming place for all. If you are interested in breaking the silence and getting involved with Show Some Skin, email

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.