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.
In the rush to address social injustice, environmental destruction, and a myriad of other pressing issues, our own health and wellbeing can be left on the backburner. These articles and tips will help you stay healthy and well while working to change the world.
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.
These videos introduce skills to work through common challenges around self-care: limited time; feeling guilty; and not actually working to nourish or support ourselves.
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.
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.
Group morale is a key contributor to the success of a group, increasing cohesion, reducing burnout and preventing activist turnover. Build team relationships; resolve conflicts and improve communication; and celebrate success.
Social media never stops! Jessie Mawson presented these tips for staying sane to the eCampaigning Forum in 2016.
The goal of this book is to help become more aware of your own relationship with power. Despite the many negative associations and memories we have about power (mostly it’s misuse), power isn’t good or bad, and it is necessary.
We need to talk about how we both prepare ourselves for, and support each other through our responses to stress and trauma, whether it be from police brutality, another institutional force, or from conflict within our own communities.
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.
Activists need to individually and collectively deal with feelings such as loss, grief, frustration, anger and despair. We can set up our groups to provide support to each other including emotional support, support for action, and educational support.
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.
Holly Hammond explores what it takes for people to get active, what leads to people dropping out of activism, and things we should be thoughtful about when engaging new activists. This post is a follow on from the ‘Getting Started in Activism’ workshop delivered at the Commonground Festival in 2011.
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.
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.
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.