I love social justice and advocacy. I love educating myself and creating content that inspires conversation and, hopefully, educates others. I participate in this work in my business and in my day job. And despite all of this, even I am slipping.
This doesn’t mean that I am being hard on myself or not accounting for the ongoing trauma that is Covid. I am understanding of my mental health and understanding that this work and my mental health can and must co-exist. So, how do we hold ourselves accountable in a manner that feels supportive and rejects shame?
To be honest, just like everything else, I am still very much on this journey and learning as I go. Over the past few years, though, I have established a few things that not only hold me accountable but allow me to continue to enjoy the process of unlearning, learning, and growth. These are “small” steps nearly anyone can take that can help hold them accountable and ensure we move forward in a way that’s effective and sustainable.
- Consider what your schedule already entails – if you are working forty-hour weeks, managing a household, and have other commitments, it is unrealistic to assume you will have ten hours to volunteer a week
- Capitalize on free time – if you’re really busy, I expect you to want to spend the majority of your free time taking care of you and your mental health. So, consider the ways you can maximize those small moments, like car rides or just those ten minutes before your colleagues bombard you with conversations or concerns.
- Pick three to five things you can do – after determining the amount of free time you have, pick a few action items. Maybe this means listening to a podcast on the way to work, maybe it means reading a new article every night, or maybe it means finding one or two petitions to sign every week.
- Create a schedule – this is where that free time comes in handy. For me, this means listening to a podcast every other day on my car ride in to work, finding two new articles a week, signed up for a reoccurring donation, checking in on local politics once a week for a half hour, and lastly, I signed up to get alerts on new petitions regarding social justice and sign two to three a week, as well. If you have specific assignments, it becomes a lot easier to ensure you’re remaining on track, so to say.
- Challenge yourself – although this is a great start, make sure that you are not getting too comfortable, either. This is my minimum, and while yours may look differently, it is important that we continue to make efforts to move forward in whatever ways we can.