Self-care for the strong

Last week we delivered three sessions on self-care and resilience at the brilliant ACEVO conference. We are proud to have worked with ACEVO in various ways over the past three years to promote this important topic in the not-for-profit sector.

We know that working for social good in any way comes with lots of responsibility and pressure. We know that the work is challenging and the need is great.

Up until recently, we lived in a world where we were expected to put our nose to the grindstone and ‘just get on with it’ in the sector. But we’re happy to see now that the conversation is changing.

Productivity, creativity and sustainable support for service users are more possible with an energised, happy, emotionally authentic workforce. To be energised, happy and emotionally authentic we need to prioritise self-care practices. Self-care practices can include, but are not exclusive to; having coaching, counselling and supervision, doing physical activity, eating well, reading personal development books, attending self-reflective workshops, attending action learning sets, speaking to those you trust, saying no, saying yes, taming your self-sabotage, meditating.

But it takes courage to do the above. The tide is turning but we notice there’s still some scepticism around prioritising and sharing with others what we do for self-care.

In the face of scepticism it’s hard to put your neck out and say ‘I have a lot on my plate, and in order to stay grounded and at peace I do daily meditation and I speak to a coach every two weeks.’ But it’s groundbreaking when you do share it. It’s groundbreaking because by sharing you automatically give others permission to do the same. You spark the ripple effect of change.

What I know for sure (Oprah moment) is that strong people prioritise self-care. Strong people get support so that they can thrive in what they’re doing. Strong people prioritise self-care and tell those around them that they are doing so.

What we dream of here at Bird is a not-for-profit sector that celebrates its wellbeing practices. A sector where ideas are shared between individuals, and between organisations so that collectively we can all be of service in a sustainable, resilient way.

So, whether you’re a CEO, a trustee, a project worker, a volunteer, a carer, a fundraiser, a freelancer… prioritising your wellbeing is a necessity if you are to feel happy, energised and strong in your work.

So, how are you prioritising your self-care? And who are you telling about it?

With love as always, Hannah and The Bird Team

And if you would like to share what you are doing, we have a new online magazine that’ll be launching in the new year. The Third Space will share strategies, ideas and stories about wellbeing and self-care specifically for those in the not-for-profit sector. If you’d like to contribute, get in touch.

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

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