December starts in just a few days and we fundraisers know what that means. Things are going to get a little nutty!
This is our annual self-care reminder for YOU, Dear Reader. The happier and healthier you are, the better your nonprofit will be because of it.
Unfortunately, a Costa Rican yoga retreat is probably out of the question right now. So what to do?
Here are a few ideas and tips (some new, some old favorites) to get you through the next few weeks:
Take a Walk
I know this to be true – a walk changes everything. And research backs it up. According to one study, workers who took a 30-minute lunchtime stroll felt “more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed and able to cope” than when they didn’t take a walk. Get up from your desk and get out. Even better, take some colleagues – even your boss! – along for the exercise.
Interview a Donor
In fundraising, we’re so, so lucky to interact with people who are manifesting their best selves by giving to a good cause. Why not feature a donor story or two in your year-end communications? Not only is it great for your audience, it’s great for you. I am always so inspired when I talk to donors about their personal stories.
Get Close to the Mission
This is one we like to remind you of every year. We know how easy it is to get stuck at your desk, or be out running around meeting with donors, and never have a chance to see the good work your efforts are enabling. When I worked at a Museum, I would make sure to get out into our crowds at least once a week during the holidays and see the joy and excitement on our visitors’ faces. Perhaps you can even volunteer to help your program staff with client service – even if you’re just welcoming people.
Dr. Kristin Neff of Stanford has been leading the charge on the importance of affording yourself the same kindness and understanding that you offer others. Practicing self-compassion is a perfect fit for people in the nonprofit sector who spend their days improving the world for others. Why not improve it for yourself once in a while?! You can read more about how to nurture self-compassion here.
Schedule a Little Sanity
Put those daily walks on your calendar. Pencil in time with friends. If you tend to let your yoga or meditation or tennis or basketball or phone calls with your besties lapse during December, carve out some time in advance to make them happen.
You are our inspiration, Dear Reader. Take care of yourself so you can continue the amazing work you do in the world!