6 Ways To Take Action On 4th Of July If You’re Feeling Frustrated By The News

by Carolyn de Lorenzo
Mario Tama/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This week's news cycle has been, to put it lightly, incredibly sad, disappointing, and straight-up frustrating, more so than usual. If the news has you feeling upset or angry, celebrating Independence Day can feel like the last thing you want to do. But what could be more patriotic than resisting injustice, in whatever form it may take? A good remedy for frustration when the news is overwhelmingly crappy is to get active (while also attending to a good dose of self-care). These ways to take action on Fourth of July can help you make a difference when the country needs it the most.

When so much is out of our control, it can be helpful to remember ways in which we can contribute to the greater good. So if you’re feeling stymied by every new push notification, and wonder if anything you do even matters anymore, rest assured that, yes — our contributions to our communities most definitely have impact. Even seemingly small actions can make more of a difference than you might realize. Here are seven key action steps you can take to make the most of July 4 if you and those you love are feeling frustrated by the news.


Host A July 4 Party For Organizations Working To Make Change

Your typical fourth of July celebrations might include a picnic or a barbecue. If it's your turn to host this year, use that as an opportunity to do good: ask your guests to bring a few dollars to donate to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or another organization that might need extra support right now.


Join A Demonstration Or Protest March

Check out some options for demonstrations or marches in your area, and ask willing and able friends and family to join you.


Host A Food Drive

Check in with your local food bank, and ask how you can help this year. Turning your backyard (or rooftop) barbecue into a food drive for local communities in need of support is a great way to bring friends and family together over a common cause. Some food banks even have virtual food drive options, so check in, and ask how you can help.


Call Your Representatives

There is nothing more patriotic than making your voice and views heard, and calling your political representatives is a key way to support the initiatives you care about most. And remember that calling, even if you leave a voicemail, is the most effective route to getting your message across — so find your representative here, and dial those digits up.


5. Volunteer Your Day Off

Volunteering your time is a powerful way to support the causes you value. Nonprofit organizations rely on the time and generosity of volunteer support to keep the ball rolling and their doors open, and giving your time on behalf of a cause dear to you is a great way to meet like-minded folks, too. If nonprofits near you aren't open on the holiday, take your day off to do some research on organizations that could use your support — and actually click that signup page.


6. Boycott

One of the most powerful ways to show your values is to vote with your dollars — and withdraw financial support from companies and corporations that support legislation you find problematic or offensive. As you’re planning your July 4 festivities this year, urge friends and family members to join you in purchasing food items and products — as much as folks can afford to — solely from companies that exercise good ethics in their business practices. As much as you can, try to support companies that place a sincere value on human and animal lives, and show commitment to environmental health.

Remember that ongoing resistance is more of a marathon than a sprint; it takes stamina and endurance to progress through without giving in to apathy or feelings of overwhelm. And while there may be a lot we can’t control, focusing on the ways we can make a difference not only protect our own hearts and mental health in these troubled times, but also offer ways for our friends and loved ones to get involved — so that they can feel better, too.