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!

January 2019

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.
One that Salena, LAAC’s ED, recommends, is to seek and share things that make you happy.
So, Salena is sharing this AMAZING video of Katelyn Ohashi on UCLA’s gymnastics team, which is making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. Her joy is contagious.

December 2018

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!
We hope that you all take the long, relaxing breaks that you NEED after this tiring year. Check out these articles on navigating the winter break and returning to work with minimal stress:

November 2018

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

What’s with the teal pumpkins?  It is important that individuals with food allergies, or those that may need or want candy alternatives, are included in Halloween festivities. Check out the Teal Pumpkin Project to learn more!

Need some ideas for Halloween themed treats and food? Check some out here and here.
Halloween & The Workplace find helpful tips here.
Halloween is a community celebration that allows people to dress up in costume for fun. However, Halloween costumes that rely on racial or ethnic stereotyping, cultural appropriation, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, or ableism perpetuate the systematic oppression of many marginalized groups. Read more on the topic here.

September 2018

Many legal aid attorneys who are also in the care-giving role for young children (as parents, aunties or uncles, or guardians) struggle daily with with the drama of getting their young children out the door and then turn to work that can be just as stressful.
There are a lot of parenting books that can offer tips, but Salena, LAAC’s ED, recommends No Drama Discipline, which you can also get from your local public library or as an audiobook for your commute. “What I like about No Drama Discipline is that the authors recognize the need for adult self-care so that we can better interact with our kids. I’m so tired of the daily fight over putting on shoes, and the strategies in this book may actually help me be a better parent AND arrive to work not already frazzled.”
(Psst… skip the monthly cost of audiobooks and get audiobooks and ebooks for free with your library card by downloading thLibby and/ or Hoopla app on your smartphone!)

August 2018

Here are a few of LAAC’s feel-good pop culture picks for a pick-me-up as summer comes to an end.
Podcasts (Recommender)
  • 2 Dope Queens (Salena & Lauren)
  • 99% Invisible (Lorin)
  • Bon Appétit (Zach)
  • Invisibilia (Safia)
  • Modern Love (Lauren)
  • Pop Culture Happy Hour (Jasmine)
  • RadioLab (Lorin & Salena)
TV Shows (Recommender)
  • The Backyardigans! (Salena and her kids)
  • Chef’s Table (Zach & Lorin)
  • The Good Place (Lorin & Jasmine)
  • Speechless (Lorin)
  • Queer Eye (Lauren, Jasmine, & Safia)
Music (Recommender)
  • 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)

July 2018

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.

Here are 5 self-care tips for each ‘level’ of 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!

5) Notice when you use the word ‘should.’ Using it frequently invites feelings of pressure around perfectionism and disappointment in ourselves in others. Be aware of opportunities to frame conversations differently such as “it might be helpful to …” “it could be fun to …”

June 2018

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.”

May 2018

Our self-care tip of the month comes from our new program attorney, Lauren Lofton!

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!

April 2018

Thank you to Yolanda Jackson from the Bar Association of San Francisco for sharing these great resources for coping with vicarious trauma!

March 2018

    • LAAC Directing Attorney, Lorin Kline, has a very important recommendation: “No social media or news before 9am or after 9pm!”

February 2018

  • 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.