For most of us, Self-Care is a challenge. We are called to the work (whatever “the work” might be) and as such, feel passion about doing what we do. Our passion often drives our work — which is a good thing. But it can also invite us to not pay attention to ourSelves and how we’re doing in the process of doing what we’re doing.
My approach to addressing and promoting Self-Care focuses on three aspects:
1) Examining Self-Care through an Intersectional lens
2) Connecting Self- and Collective-Care (both of which I refer to as the “context” of Self-Care) and
3), Self-Care in “real time.”
Self-Care through an Intersectional Lens
Our Selves exist at the intersection of many different identities, and we exist in environments in which we’re interacting from within our intersectional Selves with other folks and their intersectional Selves. Furthermore, our intersectional Selves are also interacting within a social-political context off oppression, domination and privilege. A part of attending to Self-Care means attending to our whole Selves, while caring for and about ourSelves in the context of oppression and privilege.
Connecting Self- and Collective-Care
Far too often, self-Care is presented and understood as activities and strategies that we do by and for ourSelves. An unstated presumption being that we do best Self-Care when we isolate. But we are inherently relational! This focus of self-care has the danger of leading us to be self-serving, and perhaps ironically, being self-serving is the opposite of Self care.
As often as not, our best Self-Care is when we are also getting out of ourSelves and attending to others as well.
Self-Care in Real Time
Self-Care is not just something we do after we’re done with the work. Self-care is something we can engage in while we’re working. I offer activities, strategies and social environmental approaches to encourage and promote Self-Care in the midst of doing our work — while staffing the hotline, while doing community organizing, while supervising staff, in the midst of hospital advocacy…
Lastly, a significant part of Self-care includes being accountable, having friends and colleagues who support us to be accountable, and being in relationship with others where we support them to be accountable. Self-care without accountability is both ineffective and leads to self serving and self aggrandizement.
I have a range of trainings examining self-care and the various contexts in which we are working that challenge our ability to take care of ourselves to sustain and grow in the work we’re doing.
I also offer tailor-made training and technical assistance services to help you as an organization, coalition, business or community to create environment’s that encourage your staff to care for themselves and each other — “in context”.