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April 4, 2015

Self Care for Sustainability and Impact Workbook

"To achieve lasting social change, we need a transformative movement that is driven by powerful, resilient, creative, and impactful individuals. Unfortunately, our movement can feel – at times – far away from this thriving, vibrant ideal. During our stakeholder research we heard repeatedly and consistently about the damaging drain on personal resources and unsustainable burnout rates within the movement to end violence against girls and women.

To become the most powerful movement possible, a practice of self-care for sustainability and impact is a core practice of Move to End Violence. This practice is incorporated into our convenings, shared with Movement Maker organizations via workshops and bring-home practices, and offered to the field-at-large via online tools and resources.

Why the Movement Needs Self-Care

Every time we board a plane, flight attendants tell us we must put on our own oxygen mask before attending to anyone around us who might require assistance. We know that we cannot reliably take care of someone else if we haven’t taken care of ourselves first.

Self-care is key to making a bigger impact.

The same applies in this work. While individuals may be able to sustain themselves for a while without focusing on self-care, our work to end violence will span decades. To stay in this for the long haul, stay open to possibilities, cultivate our creativity and have the greatest impact, we need to take care of our most essential resource: ourselves.

How We Approach Self-Care

We are working toward a world free from violence, and that must begin with ourselves. We are often complicit in allowing circumstances to deplete our own power and impact, which doesn’t serve us, our loved ones, or our mission.

At Move to End Violence, we work on letting go of the guilt or fear of being perceived as selfish or uncommitted that self-care can often evoke. Instead, we engage in self-care for sustainability and impact on a daily basis. It is not sustainable to exhaust ourselves in between holidays and sporadic vacations. We cultivate intentional practices that interrupt the habits that sabotage our self-care.

Art by lizar_tistry