We all want to change the world, right? That’s why we’re here, to connect and create an active community and a better world. But it can be exhausting. Between work and family commitments, social engagements and generally trying to make the make the world a better place through ethical purchasing, attending rallies, emailing politicians and organising sustainable clothes swaps, we sometimes forget about looking after ourselves. We adult so much, we sometimes forget to human.
So, here are seven, simple and totally actionable things you can do today, to help look after yourself, and, in doing so, have more energy to keep on being a changemaker!
This one is proven to help with pretty much everything you’ll ever need in life. We are all a little sleep deprived and doctors have been telling us for years that sleep is good for us. So I give you permission, right here, right now, it’s ok to say no to a night out, a work event, or social obligation once in a while. Get an early night and catch up on some much needed shut-eye.
While your to-do list may be so swamped you think you cannot possible have time to add anything else, finding the time to meet with other, like-minded people and connect can be a powerful way of re-energising and reinvigorating yourself. Finding your tribe and sharing ideas with other changemakers can reinspire the most tired activist. Attend one of our workshops, rallies or other events and feel completely re-energised afterwards!
3. Be Selective
There are so many noble causes in the world, it’s easy to get fatigued by the whole thing. Are you all about low-waste, or feminism? Are you passionate about animal rights or saving The Great Barrier Reef? It’s easy to get fatigued when you try to take on all the problems of the world. So don’t. Choose one or two that are really important to you and focus your energy on them. You can move around and diversify later, but keeping the list small will help with your sanity, especially when you are starting out.
We all know exercise is important, I know that I am preaching to the converted here. But how often do we forget to make it a priority? Don’t worry, I am certainly not advocating you spend hours at the gym (unless you want to of course) or enrol in a marathon when you hate running. This is about finding a movement that you love. Have you considered indoor rock climbing? Ice-skating? What about meeting up with a friend for a walk instead of a coffee? I promise, the energy you expend while moving will come back to you twofold!
5. Ask For Help
Feeling overwhelmed? Got a million things to do? Don’t be afraid to ask for some help. Ask a family member to watch the kids, while you do nothing, or delegate something at work. See what you can chop off your to do list by enlisting in some help or outsourcing to someone else.
Do not be intimidated by the idea of meditation. Like exercise, it is proved to help you relax, sleep better, cope with stress, have a more positive outlook and improve your energy levels. So with a list of benefits like this, you have to give it a try (or another try). Carve out five minutes a day (surely you can find that little) and try a short, guided meditation to help you at the beginning (there’s literally thousands on youtube to get you started). Don’t worry if your mind drifts off or you find it difficult, that’s normal and a part of the process. Just keep going and remind yourself to breathe deeply and focus. Every time you bring your attention back to the meditation your focus gets stronger. See if you can eventually build up to twenty minutes a day.
7. Unplug Early
This one is a tricky one, but bear with me. Try to turn off all screens at least an hour before bed. If you must have some screen time before bed, stick to a Kindle or Ereader, where the light does not wake you up as much as the blue light of a phone or laptop. If you must use other devices closer to sleep, try to put them in night mode or put a filter on to reduce the blue light. If you can, keep your phone away from your bed, as the light and and vibrations for all those group chats buzzing all night can really interfere with your sleep. If you need your phone near you, put it on flight mode and do not turn it on until the morning. Your alarm will still work.
So action these seven tip today and see how your energy level improve and you have more motivation to keep being your amazing, changemaker self.
By Stephanie Johnson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Johnson, is a passionate school teacher, yoga teacher, new mother and environmentalist. She has a severe and incurable case of wanderlust and has traveled to over 50 countries, with more plans to jetset abroad in search of yoga and adventure. Stephanie is an Australian, currently living in Santiago, Chile. Connect with her on Instagram (www.instagram.com/stephj_inchile/) or on her blog (stephaniejohnsonwriting.wordpress.com/)