In her article, Nine self-care reminders for the over-committed activist, Vancouver-based Christine Boyle writes that: “the idea of self-care bubbles up every now and then in community and activist circles. It’s not an easy topic; often associated with self-indulgence, it can be seen as a luxury that can wait until after the next crisis. And yet, it continues to arise. Why?”
We include this article in our 2020 materials as we believe in the message: to focus on self-care is not a selfish practice to get to when all other important work is done; it is a leader’s discipline. In fact, it is a generative act. Sure it provides personal benefits, but it also has ripple effects on others including our families, clients, and colleagues. We are more able to serve as leaders when our head is clear, when our bodies are hydrated and nourished, when we feel connected and engaged, and when we are mindful and present.
If you are interested in diving deeper into the topic of self compassion, two researchers/authors that are doing great work are Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. Kristin has a wonderful website complete with a self-assessment tool, her TEDx talk and other videos, guided mindfulness practices and resources. Christopher’s website is also very helpful with access to articles, excerpts from his books, guided meditations, and handouts from the Mindful Self Compassion training program.
Both have also written very accessible and thoughtful books:
Kristin Neff (2011). Self Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind.
Kristin Neff (2013). Self Compassion Step-by-Step: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself (CD).
Christopher Germer (2009). The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself From Destructive Thoughts and Emotions.