This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.
25 Jan, 2017

Putting Community in Self Care

By | 2017-01-25T14:58:36+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Categories: Activism|Tags: , |0 Comments

Since going to the Women’s March this past Saturday, I’m more dedicated than ever to fighting for Social Justice, Reproductive Justice, and Racial Justice. And since the March, the Global Gag Rule was reinstated, denying women access to safe family planning, including the option of abortion, the House of Representatives passed HR7 (and if it passes the Senate and is signed into law, it will make the Hyde Amendment permanent), an executive order to reinstate the Keystone XL and Dakota Pipeline was enacted, getting visas to travel to Muslim countries will become more difficult, we’re building walls as security, and our national parks are being asked to remove tweets about climate change.

We have a lot of work to do. That work is going to be draining, and everyone is talking about self care.

But organizer B. Loewe writes, “The problem with self care is that there is an underlying assumption that our labor is draining. The deeper question is how do we shape our struggles so that they are life-giving instead of energy-taking processes. When did activities that are aimed to move us closer to freedom stop moving us?” These are good questions. Burnout impacts how we function at an individual, community, and systemic level, and can result in not only emotional but also physical trauma. The Women’s March, rallies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and more are life-affirming to many, despite the dismal experiences that lead up to these events.

At the start of 2017, I made a pledge to care for myself more fiercely than I’ve done in the past. More exercise, more healthy eating, more pampering, more social media detoxing, more travel for pleasure. But I’ve been revisiting what I’ve said about self care in the past, and how many feel that it isn’t an option for themselves and their communities, and I’ve been making some gradual shifts in identifying what self care means to me.

While meeting with one of my clients, she shared that she helped organize vigil for communities impacted by the 2015 shooting at Planned Parenthood in Colorado . In fact, she said that her way to caring for herself is by caring for others as well. Cooking for people, helping around the home, running errands. Things that we normally associate with piling more onto our plates. Caring for others was emotionally fulfilling to her, in spite of whatever struggles she may be  facing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what self care will mean for the women, communities, and organizations impacted by harmful legislation during the next four years. And when I think of what I really want in self care, a massage is far down on the list of priorities (though they are nice). What I’ve been missing in my self care is community, because I’m going to need my community more than ever as I do this work.

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29 Dec, 2016

Try This: Identify Self Care Activities to Start, Continue, & Stop

By | 2016-12-29T15:04:00+00:00 December 29th, 2016|Categories: Self Care Corner, Workshop Design & Facilitation|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

 

I recently shared a self care exercise you can use to identify your recipes, remedies, rituals, and resources for self care.

Today, let’s try another exercise taken from “The Revolution Starts with Me!: Recipes, Remedies, Rituals, and Resources”, a workshop I co-facilitate with Adaku Utah.

When I facilitated this exercise a few weeks ago with the staff at Reproaction, I adapted it to fit the organization’s self care needs, rather than have the staff complete the exercise individually. This exercise, adapted from the MS Society of Canada, is can found in our self care zine. If you already have the zine, pull it out and follow along, (or you can get a free copy when you sign up for my weekly newsletter.) Like the previous exercise, this exercise can be done individually or by a staff or group.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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15 Dec, 2016

Try This: Create Your Recipes, Remedies, Rituals, and Resources for Self Care

By | 2016-12-15T12:00:29+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Categories: Self Care Corner, Workshop Design & Facilitation|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

 

I recently attended a staff retreat for Reproaction, one of my clients. During the two-day retreat, I led a few discussions on self care and goal setting in 2017 from an organizational viewpoint.

In particular, I led the staff through two exercises taken from my workshop “The Revolution Starts with Me!: Recipes, Remedies, Rituals, and Resources for Activist Self Care“. This workshop is typically co-facilitated with Adaku Utah, and is tailored to meet the needs of the primary audience. Over the years, the workshop has focused more on young activists as we’ve been asked to facilitate in mostly activist settings, but for Reproaction’s staff retreat, I adapted it to fit the organization’s self care needs. Today, I’ll walk you through one of the exercises. Whether you’re a staff or a group of students, this exercise will work for you, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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10 Dec, 2014

What Do You Do When Self Care Isn’t An Option?

By | 2016-10-25T01:48:01+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Categories: Activism|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” ~ Audre Lorde

Today is International Human Rights Day. First commemorated in 1950, International Human Rights Day brings attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the common standard of achievement for all nations.  The 2014 theme, “Human Rights 365”, celebrates the fundamental principle that everyone is entitled to the full range of human rights at all times, that human rights belong equally to each of us, and these rights bind us together as a global community.

Given the pain, frustration, and unrest that have resulted in protests in recent weeks around the United States to bring awareness to the increase of policing tactics against communities of color, the constant attacks on women’s reproductive access, continuous news about hate crimes against members of the LGBTQ community, the debates surrounding immigration rights, and countless other stressors on marginalized communities, the state of basic human rights around the world is nothing short of dismal.

As social workers, counselors, and therapists, we are receptacles of our clients’ trauma. We encourage clients to work through a traumatic experience by giving voice to it, but what ends up hopefully being a cathartic release for our clients, leaves us literally holding our clients’ trauma in our hands.

As teachers, agency or nonprofit workers, or community activists, the well-being of our communities is a priority for us. We conduct needs assessments and speak to our students and community members about what needs to change within the school system, agency, or community. What ends up being a positive way for community members to voice their concerns can leave us drained because what needs to change—often at a systemic and policy level—can feel daunting.

When your communities are constantly under attacked, when there seems to be no end in sight, and when your fundamental rights are being taken away, what do you do when self care isn’t an option for you?

When times get tough, I rely on self care activities and rituals that I’ve developed for myself. I mention self care, especially to service providers and activists, because I believe that you can’t raise your voice for others if you’re not able to care for yourself.

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13 Sep, 2013

The Self Care Corner: Create Your “Calm Down Kit”

By | 2016-10-25T01:48:04+00:00 September 13th, 2013|Categories: Self Care Corner|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

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In order to raise your voice for others, you have to take care of yourself first. That’s where self care comes in. If you like this tip, be sure to sign up for the Raise Your Voice newsletter to receive your copy of The Revolution Starts with Me! self care zine for more tips and self care resources.

This is a great self care exercise I spotted on the University of Texas Elementary School’s Social Work Practices blog. It’s known by several names, such as “Break Box”, “Breathe Box” and “Calm Down Kit”, and while this exercise is designed to help young people navigate their feelings with the aid of school social workers and parents, this can also be helpful for adults as well. A “calm down kit” is an example of self soothing, where taking care of yourself while in a high-stress or triggering situation is important.

Here’s how to create your Calm Down Kit:

1- Take a pencil box (You can buy these at any craft store or major store chain like Staples) or any box that can safely hold all of your items.

2- Add items to the box that aid you in becoming more aware of your surrounding, calm you down, or help you to express your feelings. You can include pens and crayons, and pieces of paper to write out what’s going through your mind, as well as items that make you feel better.

It’s that simple. If you’re stumped on what to add to your Calm Down Kit, utilize your five senses (part of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) to decide what to soothing and comforting things to place in your kit:

Smell- Candles, lotions, a small vial of fragrances or essential oils

Taste- Pieces of your favorite candy, gum, or mint

Touch- Charm, stress ball, prayer beads, Playdoh, stones or a favorite rock, a piece of jewelry, playing cards

Sight- Small journal, pictures of supportive people in your life, words of inspiration in your hand writing, images of calming scenery, bubbles

Hear- Baoding chime balls, uplifting songs that you can listen to, sounds in nature (running water, leaves blowing in the wind)

The possibilities are endless. Decorate your calm down kit however you want. If you put more effort into creating it, you’ll be more likely to use it. Do this exercise with your family, friends, peers or students. Keep it in a place where it’s easily accessible to you. Also, make sure to create your calm down kit before you actually need it.

The next self care tip with go more into using the five sense for self soothing, for when your calm down kit is not accessible to you.

RAISE YOUR VOICE: What you think about this week’s exercise? Share your insights in the comments section below. Do you have a self care resource or exercise you want to share? Contact me to have it featured in an upcoming Self Care Corner post.

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