LAAC members have recently expressed a desire for LAAC to share more self-care trainings and resources. So welcome to our new monthly Self-Care Corner!
As legal aid attorneys and advocates a lot of unexpected things can be thrown our way and spiral our pre-planned days into chaos. While we cannot predict when this will happen we can set ourselves up for success with a little pre-planning.
For this month’s Self Care Corner, LAAC Staff recommends checking out Breathe magazine’s, “The Stress Less Special.” Here are a few helpful tips from Breathe to set yourself up for a calm morning:
Go to bed tidy
Put away that pile of clothes you’ve been ignoring, or clean those dishes piling up in the sink. Ending on a positive note will help you feel less stressed in the morning. Hopefully you’ll feel less rushed with no mess to slow you down.
Blue light from phone, or computer screens can interrupt your quality of sleep. Find a routine to unwind before bed that doesn’t include technology. Perhaps read a book for fun, or light a candle and practice deep breathing.
If you find yourself worrying about your to-do list, keep a pencil and paper (not your i-phone!) by your bed to write down any concerns to address in the morning.
Remember to breathe throughout the day. The weight of the world is not yours alone to hold.
It’s a beautiful and busy summer, and while self care is always on our minds, there is no specific self care content for this July. Please feel free to browse through the archive, and remember, it’s award season! Please submit your nominations for this year’s Loren Miller Award here by July 22nd. Let’s celebrate all the amazing work our community is doing!
No self care corner for June. Congratulations again to all the 2019 Awards of Merit recipients (view the announcement here)! Happy pride month!
Many of us make resolutions in the new year – some are intention-setting for a happier and less busy life, while some may be as specific as reading a particular number of books.
In an effort to make our workspaces as inclusive and diverse as the communities we serve, consider de-Christmas-ing your office year-end parties. We recommend this article on Holiday Party Planning in the Diverse Workplace!
As winter approaches, the days are growing colder, darker, and shorter. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself!
One thing that comes up every year is cold and flu season. Protect yourself from sickness by following these steps.
LAAC tip: Sanitize your phone! We bring our smart phones everywhere, and often forget that they need to be cleaned too.
Many people are impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder. While it may not get as cold in most of California as it does in other parts of the country, the change can still make a big impact on us. Avoid the winter blues by soaking up the sunlight when you can, making an effort to spend time with loved ones, and making sure you use your weekends to decompress and enjoy your leisure time – not responding to emails!
October 2018 – LAAC’s Halloween Self-Care Corner
- 2 Dope Queens (Salena & Lauren)
- 99% Invisible (Lorin)
- Bon Appétit (Zach)
- Invisibilia (Safia)
- Modern Love (Lauren)
- Pop Culture Happy Hour (Jasmine)
- RadioLab (Lorin & Salena)
- The Backyardigans! (Salena and her kids)
- Chef’s Table (Zach & Lorin)
- The Good Place (Lorin & Jasmine)
- Speechless (Lorin)
- Queer Eye (Lauren, Jasmine, & Safia)
- Lungs (album) by Florence and the Machine (Lorin)
- Lovers Rock (album) by Sade (Jasmine)
- Sing to the Moon (album) by Laura Mvula (Lauren)
Take Care (album) by Drake (Zach)
This month’s self-care corner is brought to you by LAAC’s high school intern, Kaden!
Did you know there are levels to the type of care we give ourselves? This article lays out five levels of self-care: (1) physical, (2) intellectual, (3) social, (4) spiritual, and (5) mental/ emotional. We know that the newscycle is taking a toll on you and your clients. It’s important for ALL OF US to focus on self-care.
1) Dance! Even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. It will get your heart rate up and put a smile on your face.
2) Keep your mind active by doing crosswords or solving puzzles. Everyone has a Rubix Cube hidden somewhere in their garage, pull yours out and have a go!
3) Laugh. It’s such a cliché, but laughter truly is the best medicine. You don’t need to have a massive group of friends in order to be social; just being around one person you absolutely adore is enough to make you feel good.
4) Identify what’s important to you. What changes do you wish to see in the world? What actions do you think you could do as an individual to help with that? – Oh wait, you’re a legal aid advocate. You’re already doing this! Good job!
It has been a long, difficult, and frustrating week for a lot of us in the legal aid world. While we all try to work round the clock to ensure fair and equal access to justice (and basic human rights) for our clients, it is so important to avoid burnout.
We highly recommend you read ” Self-Care Strategies for Survival: Sustaining Oneself in Social Justice Movements” from the CompassPoint blog, written by LAAC’s new Program Attorney, Lauren Lofton.
A highlight: “Even as the popularity of the word self-care has risen, I have observed that many people around me have stopped believing in the value of the practice.”
As the weather begins to warm up try having outside meetings! If it’s accessible for your office, you might even try walking meetings. This could be a great way for employees to get more sunlight, fresh air, and a change of pace from the everyday office setting.
Here are some things to consider having on hand if your office starts doing outdoor meetings.
- Keep a scent-free sunscreen in the office
- Make sure everyone brings a water bottle
- Have a large blanket to put down for all to sit on
- Keep a pair of comfortable shoes in your office (this is also important to have in case of earthquakes!)
- Bring snacks!
Thank you to Yolanda Jackson from the Bar Association of San Francisco for sharing these great resources for coping with vicarious trauma!
- The Top 10 Self-Care Strategies for Stress Reduction – #9: Process your emotions
- Check out this free webinar from the ABA: “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change”
- LAAC Directing Attorney, Lorin Kline, has a very important recommendation: “No social media or news before 9am or after 9pm!”
- Been having difficulty networking at all of these conferences and meetings? Here’s five tips for taking the anxiety out of networking.
- Meditate! If you’ve been thinking about adding meditation to your day, but you’re not really sure how, we recommend trying out an app like Headspace. You can try it for free, and it’s one of likely hundreds of meditation apps, but our staff likes that there are simple options at different lengths, like a mediation for a 10-minute run, or a 3-minute meditation to wind down your day.