Prioritizing Self-Care in the New Year as Social Justice Educators

higher education, Jamie Piperato, Self-Care, Social Justice

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Happy New Years!
 
Welcome back to work AND welcome to my first blog post of the new year! Today I would like to spend some time focusing on the various elements of self-care for social justice educators. For many of us, a couple of weeks off from our formal jobs does not equate to time off from the work we do on a daily basis. In fact, for some, the increased time spent with family and friends can mean an increase in conversations (read: heated debates) around inequities and institutionalized oppression. The work of a social justice educator does not come with vacation days.
 
So, with that being said, in order to ensure that we are effective as social justice educators, we must ensure that we are taking time for a little self-love. To me, this post comes at a perfect time. As we start the new year, it is important that we are proactive in our efforts to ensure we are practicing healthy behaviors. Below, I have included “five tips for self-care” to consider when working as a social justice educator. In addition, I’ve included an image created by SUNY Buffalo entitled, “How to Flourish in Social Work: Preserving Personal Longevity and Happiness, Relationships, and your Career.” The tips and information provided can be directly transferred to the work of social justice educators. Furthermore, I included the new video, “Social Justice Warriors” by Decoded starring Franchesca Ramsey, to hopefully provide you a little life as you start your busy week! 

Five Tips for Self-Care

Tip #1: Mindfully Disengage
It is important as social justice educators to mindfully disengage throughout your week. This might entail reading a book (not related to social justice), listening to music, crafting, or playing board games. The objective of disengaging is to provide your mind with some time to grow, love, and be at peace.
 
Tip #2: Express Yourself Out Loud
As social justice educators, we facilitate conversations and navigate environments that are emotionally taxing on us. We must provide ourselves permission to express our frustrations out loud. This may come in the form of laughing, crying, or screaming. Give yourself permission to open up to friends, family, and loved ones.
 
Tip #3: Find Peace
It is vital that we find the peace that is within us. It is important that we understand where we find our peace. When we understand how to find peace then we must be intentional about locating it regularly.
 
Tip #4: Seek Support from Colleagues
As social justice educators, it is important that we recognize how connected we are in this work. In addition, it is important that we provide support to those around us when they need it the most. Look to provide support but also seek support from others.
 
Tip #5: Love Your Body
We put an exorbitant amount of stress on our bodies as social justice educators. We must begin to recognize that our mind and therefore our effectiveness is impacted when we do not love our body. We must make our bodies a priority.
 
(For more tips: http://www.forharriet.com/2014/12/self-preservation-as-resistance-tips.html#axzz3wuNpIm46) 

How to Flourish in Social Work: Preserving Personal Longevity and Happiness, Relationships, and your Career (click to enlarge)

Social Justice Education, Self-Care

Social Justice Warrior Training I Decoded I MTV News

Thank you for reading my first blog of the new year! As a way to hold ourselves accountable in prioritizing self-care use the hashtag #SJCare to share with others what you are doing to be proactive throughout the year!

Be sure to check out some of my other posts here!

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