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Plan to Thrive

Plan to Thrive

Plan to Thrive is a project which supports and promotes the health and wellbeing of people and groups engaged in working for social and ecological justice.

Plan to Thrive challenges activist cultures and identities which emphasise stoicism, isolation and joylessness. Burn-out is not inevitable and it’s possible to live happy and healthy lives while working to change the world.

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People stand in a line in front of a crowd. Their tshirts each have a letter spelling out INDIVISIBLE.

How to build a resilient culture of resistance in hard times

US activist and educator Daniel Hunter shares important tips for sustaining ourselves and our movements in the face of challenging times. He outlines seven behaviors that we could incorporate into our groups so we can keep taking powerful and strategic actions.

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Sustaining ourselves as activists

Activist wisdom has been gathered from a survey of nearly 200 about how to sustain ourselves as activists. A great list from those who have been there.

Koala sleeping on a log

Tips for Election Recovery

Elections can take a heavy toll campaigners, organisers, and anyone else working and hoping for social and ecological justice. Now is a time for looking after ourselves and each other, to get in good shape for what comes next.

Coffee is poured from a metal jug into a large and unstable stack of coffee cups sitting on a wooden table.

Balance or Burnout?

What causes burnout? There are two characteristics needed, and they apply across all levels of scale, from individual through group, to planetary burnout or health. The first requirement is a culture where a naturally self balancing system is heading out of balance. The second requirement is that signals of distress or deterioration are ignored.

A view of from a vantage point in Mount Buffalo, with rolling forested hills framing a valley, in which there is a small clearing.

Work Less: You’ll Get More Done

Overwork has heavy costs. Working longer hours is dangerous and ineffective. But poor management, the subconscious, workplace culture, and work volume, can each be a barrier to better workplace practices. Thankfully though, these barriers can be overcome.

Cover of 'In the Tigers Mouth'.

In the Tiger’s Mouth: Activism, Self-Awareness, Self Care

A review of Katrina Shield’s ‘In The Tiger’s Mouth: An Empowerment Guide for Social Action’. What most distinguishes this books is its emphasis on three elements not often considered in other campaigning texts: self-awareness, collaboration, and self-care.

The silhouette of a person standing by a lake at sunset. The trees on the other side of the lake are reflected in the water, and the overall effect is calm but a bit lonely.

Hey Activists, R U OK?

The annual R U OK Day aims to prevent suicide by building connection. This articles looks at what individuals and groups engaged in social change can do to connect with and look out for others.

An open notebook in which a hand is writing a list of tasks, ready to be ticked off. The text is too indistinct to read.

Setting goals and changing habits

Setting a life up to sustain activism doesn’t always come easy. Just like in a campaign we’re much more likely to get where we want to go if we’re clear about the intended destination – and if we take effective steps in that direction. These tips are provided to help you reach your healthy goals.

A cup of black tea on a table, shot from above

Coming down from stress

To be fresh and ready for the challenges of social change we also need quality time off. Here are some tips for getting the  most out of a break, whether a longer holiday, weekends or any captured moment for potential relaxation.

Arial view of a road through a forrest. The road curls back on itself, changing directly completely.

Hope and Activist Burnout

Experiencing defeats contributes to many people losing hope, burning out, or just dropping out of activism. If we can set up our organisations and social movements to function effectively we’re more likely to foster hope and keep engaged and emotionally strong activists.

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Ideas for Embodied Activism

Overwhelming events happen and depending on our degree of privilege, daily stressors can be constant. Unless we are in crisis and/or an immediate life threatening situation it’s incredibly beneficial to spend time cultivating resources which support your health, embodiment, connectedness and feelings goodness.

A large group of women sit in a room talking animatedly.

Consciousness Raising

Consciousness raising was a key element of the second wave women’s movement enabling women to recognise that the personal is political. This article gives an overview of group consciousness raising processes relevant for any group based on a shared identity or experience of oppression.

A teal espresso cup filled with brown coffee, on a slightly lighter teal table, taken from above.

Reviewing your activist year

Why not take some time out to reflect on the year that was, before jumping in to plans for the next? Different approaches to reflection are explored including journalling, art and ritual. Plus there’s a handy worksheet which you can use (at any time of the year).

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Organise Yourself Healthy

Community organisers (and other change agents) have some excellent tools that can maximise the likelihood of making healthy goals a reality. This article will tune up your organising smarts as well as your health and wellbeing.

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Review: Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit first wrote Hope in the Dark in 2004. Here Matt Ross reviews the American author’s arguments for keeping the faith in times of despair. Sitting in a hipster yoga retreat in Bali, sweating and occasionally scratching the red mosquito bites clustering on my ankles, I met Nick Davis. Nick was a shirtless and […]

A stack of five books of different sizes, sitting on a table, taken from their base so you can't see the titles.

Review: Our Hearts in Transition

Holly Hammond reviews The Transition Handbook by Rob Hopkins – with emphasis on its insights around the emotional and psychological impact of climate change and peak oil. What would working to change the world be like if it made more room for the ‘heart’? How do we communicate challenging information to people in ways that […]

Coffee is poured from a metal jug into a large and unstable stack of coffee cups sitting on a wooden table.

Personal ‘traps’ that contribute to activist burnout

This article explores some of the ‘cognitive errors’ or ‘traps’ that contribute to activist burnout. Read through this list and see if you might need to adjust your perspective, in the interests of your health, wellbeing and effectiveness.  Here are some ‘traps’ I’ve noticed activists can fall into – many of which I’m familiar with […]

An abstract, black and white representation of the brain, in which white lines represent connections and movement of electricity.

Planning for aid workers to thrive

Humanitarian aid workers are at significant risk of burnout and trauma. Martina Nicolls explains the challenges unique to aid workers and the fight for recognition and effective change so far. Humanitarian aid workers worldwide want better work conditions and improved wellbeing in the workplace. Aid workers often work in high-stress situations and environments, including conflict […]

Black and white photograph of protestors walking along a railway line.

Surviving the ups and downs: Part 2

In the second part of this article Mark and Paul Engler further explore Bill Moyer’s Movement Action Plan and its implications for social movements.  The perception of failure For those encountering the MAP model for the first time, the biggest “Aha” usually comes with Moyer’s stage five. The previous stage — stage four — is […]