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A handbook for staying grounded, emotionally connected, and empowered regardless of what's in the headlines and who's in your face. From politics, climate change, and the economy to racism, sexism, and a hundred other kinds of biases--things have never felt so urgent and uncertain. We want to take action, but so many of us struggle with overwhelm and burnout. And on top of it all, we get so many messages telling us to relax, to let it go and feel some other way about things. We'd like to think that emotional intelligence and mindfulness will help--but why do these approaches so often fall short in fever-pitch moments? In his warm, funny, streetwise style, Ralph De La Rosa offers tools for coping in contentious times. Full of insights and practices addressing everything from trauma triggers to privilege guilt and the art of saying no, Don't Tell Me to Relax brings the welcome news that our thoughts and emotions are not the enemy. Rather, when met skillfully, they can light the way to self-empathy, social understanding, and an activism that has room for both inner and outer work.