Working at a non-profit community mediation organization, I welcomed the winter holidays with relief and exhaustion. After holiday parties and requests for donations, after the last intern left the office for winter break, I finally had a moment of blissful respite.
And it’s the same for all community activists, peacemakers, public service agents, and good Samaritans. I realized this last week when I had the privilege of speaking with members of other nonprofits, and we nodded knowingly as we shared stories of the past six months and the constant flexibility, diligence, and energy required by wearing multiple hats to keep things running smoothly.
Let’s make 2013 a year for us to flourish. Let’s scrape off the exhaustion and tiredness from 2012 like leaving our shoes at the door, and welcome each other into the new year. Inspired by the article “An End to Self-Care” by B. Loewe, here are 6 New Year’s Resolutions for Mediators and Peacemakers.
Our communities are intricate, complex webs of relationships and resources. Out there, are people who share your passion, your interests, and your goals. When we meet and hear each other, we experience our community and become stronger and more grounded.
One of the most frequent complaints that I hear is “We do such good work, but nobody knows about us!” Well, we could all be neighbors on the same street but unless we walk out the front door to introduce ourselves, how would we ever get to know the person next door? You never know – your neighbor might be an incredible plumber, or be an ardent horticulturalist who could identify the pests plaguing your garden. Let’s make a point to know each other and become familiar with our beautiful, abundant community landscape.
Here are two resolutions to help us community-care
- To create community spaces to support each other and share diverse knowledge and experiences.
- To create a knowledge bank of skills and resources we each have, and to offer skills-shares or trades.
In my life, I have close friends that serve as a “buddy” system for exploring new ideas, discussing interesting topics, and working through tough problems together. Some of my friends are my older mentors and professionals in the field, and some are my equals who are walking their own baths in developing their careers. These intimate partnerships can help us remember things we’ve forgotten, reflect different sides of ourselves, and help us dismantle challenges or blocks that keep us from moving forward.
Here are two resolutions for partner-care.
- To create at least one partnership with someone in my field of interest and meet up at least once a month.
- To dedicate time to strengthening my relationships with friends or acquaintances I already have by setting aside time to be with them.
Especially in non-profit work, we can frequently put others before ourselves. Make sure to keep in touch with your own needs and take care of yourself! How does your body feel? Are you waking up feeling motivated or tired? When was the last time you did something for yourself? The simple act of mindfully keeping track of your physical and emotional vitals every day can help you recognize early warning signs of stress and burnout. Here are two last resolutions that can help keep you on track, and keep others involved in making sure you succeed!
- To check in with myself each day.
- To take time off and rekindle my passions.