Beth Kanter, guest speaker and facilitator of the first Spokes Nonprofit Symposium, engaged participants with her insights and resourceful approaches to organizational health in the workshop based on her book, The Happy Healthy Nonprofit. The Symposium was held on Friday, November 15, 2019.
According to Kanter, self-care is not a luxury but something that should be a part of how you do your work in order to get better results. “Creating a culture of wellbeing has benefits that are measurable, and these include things like fewer absences and sick days, lower health care costs, higher employee work satisfaction, and the ability to attract top talent and retain them.” Self-care leads to more successful networking, happier staff and volunteers, and more peace of mind for nonprofit leaders and Board members. Symposium attendees agreed that taking time for self-care in the workplace is not only needed, but is a crucial component to the overall morale and productivity in the nonprofit organization.
Beth asked attendees to take some time to analyze and actualize a new type of self-care for themselves so they can avoid burn-out. This included a demonstration of exercises featuring “4 Mindful Moment Techniques You Can Practice During Your Workday.”
The “Three Minute Mental Vacation Break” provided an easy and realistic practice to apply to any nonprofit leader’s busy schedule. In this exercise, Beth took attendees on a mini-vacation to Hawaii with a slideshow of sandy beaches and flowing waterfalls, set to the joyful rhythm of Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s song Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
What is your self-care plan, and how can you improve it or build time into your day to begin it? As Beth suggests, “A written Self-Care Plan does not have to be a long document. In fact, the shorter, the better to start. You can always add to it as you progress through your self-care practices. Make a list of your Practice Goals or the specific actions you plan on taking to attend to your self-care.”
Overall, participants in this morning workshop walked away with a detailed personal plan for their self-care and multiple concepts and tips to share with staff in the workplace.
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