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Wellbeing

Wellbeing

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.

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.

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.

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

Sustaining ourselves as activists

This article summarises findings from a survey that Plan to Thrive did with nearly 200 activists in 2014. This post covers all the nuggets of wisdom elicited in response to the question ‘what have you figured out about sustaining yourself as an activist’? We think there is something for everyone here, happy reading. As with […]

A group of people sit together around a table.

Maintaining Group Morale and Motivation

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.

Cover of The Little Book of Power featuring a drawing of a rocket taking off.

The Little Book of Power

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.

A group of police officers stand side by side, surrounded by seated activists with arms interlinked.

A Resource for Activists Working Through Trauma

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.

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.

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.

A group of friends stand with arms around each other looking out across a valley.

Activist Support and Debriefing

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.

Close up photo of three hands holding small autumn leaves.

Group Strategies to Prevent Stress and Burnout

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.

Stress Management and Burnout Prevention

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.

Photograph of students holding a banner reading 'Our Future, Our Reef, Don't Risk It'.

Tips for New Activists

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 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.

Close up of the head and shoulders of a movable artist's model, made out of wood

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.