When social change campaigns experience setbacks it’s understandable this can lead to difficulties in activist groups. Here are some tips and further resources for holding groups together in hard times.
Stress and burnout
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.
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.
Social media never stops! Jessie Mawson presented these tips for staying sane to the eCampaigning Forum in 2016.
This handbook is a handy and unique resource for activists and community workers engaged in work for peace at a community level throughout Australia. It includes practical ways to intervene in violence, to transform conflict and to build peace.
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 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.
A group’s culture can have a big impact on the likelihood of stress and burnout for members and staff. It’s possible to create a group culture that supports self-care, balance and sustainable work loads and patterns.
High stress levels and burnout are very common among grassroots activists and community workers. Stress management and physical, emotional and spiritual renewal is crucial to looking after ourselves for the long haul.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nonprofit organisations can be prone to encouraging overwork, simply because they know their employees are emotionally invested. Alexandra Lamb analyses Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman’s argument that nonprofits should transform their workplace culture to have more productive and happier workers.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
This article summarises findings from a survey that Plan to Thrive did with nearly 200 activists in 2014. In the Plan to Thrive Activist Health and Wellbeing Survey we asked ‘what motivates you to engage in activism’? The answers around this question were surprising similar and also point to the common idea that activists are […]
This article summarises findings from a survey that Plan to Thrive did with nearly 200 activists in 2014. The second question in the survey was ‘how does your activism impact on your health and wellbeing’? Of the 151 responses to this particular question there were some definite trends, as well as a few outlying responses […]