Posts tagged ‘self-care’

December 4, 2020

An Unusual Post for an Unusual Time

This is an unusual post for me. It’s not about fundraising or nonprofit management. Nevertheless, it’s appropriate for this unusual time. If you’re like me, 2020 has been a stressful year for you. Now, in the closing weeks of the year, that stress level is being ratcheted up. Professionally, we’re struggling to raise as much money as we can at year-end. Personally, we’re trying to make holiday plans while coping with ever-changing government directives concerning the pandemic.

To help you more effectively deal with the stress in your life, I want to tell you about two special webinars. Both of these programs will be taught by Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT. Michelle is not just a certified yoga therapist, she’s my instructor. So, I can tell you, from personal knowledge, that she’s experienced, compassionate, practical, and helpful.

While many of Michelle’s programs are designed for cancer patients and survivors, the following two programs are open to the general public and will benefit anyone experiencing stress:

Stress Reduction Through Yoga:

In this session, you’ll learn simple mind-body practices to reduce stress, get better sleep, and cultivate peace. Harness the power of your mind to stay calm in the midst of any storm! No prior yoga experience is necessary.

Date:  Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Time:  1:00 – 2:00 PM (EST)

Fee: This is a FREE event.

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this free Zoom event.

Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra:

The winter solstice is a special time of year. It’s the point at which the northern hemisphere is farthest from the strong influence of the sun and is more exposed to the vast universe. It’s the longest night of the year and, therefore, it’s a good time to work with your dreams … both your sleeping dreams and your deepest desires. Yoga Nidra is a guided, multi-stage relaxation/meditation practice that takes you to that sweet spot between wakefulness and sleep. Here you can hover near the subconscious, and allow your dreams to take the stage. No yoga or meditation experience is necessary. In this Winter Solstice Yoga Nidra event on Zoom, we’ll take time to:

  • write about our deepest desires and dreams
  • move the body and breathe a bit
  • then settle into the guided Nidra practice for quiet inward visioning
  • we’ll emerge and sit in simple meditation
  • then we’ll take time to discuss and write thoughts and/or action steps

Sink into the deep wisdom of the body and let your dreams have more playtime.

You’ll need:

  • a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted
  • comfy clothing in layers to adjust for body temp fluctuations
  • space to lie down, usually on the floor, but a couch, recliner, or bed will do
  • supportive props like blankets and pillows
  • a journal/paper and pen

Date:  Sunday, December 20, 2020

Time:  4:00 – 6:00 PM (EST)

Fee:  $20 per person plus a small processing charge

Register Now:  Click here to register now for this Zoom event.

My wife and I are planning to participate in both events. I encourage you to consider attending one or both of the programs. Self-care is vitally important. You can’t take care of others, professionally or personally, unless you first take care of yourself. Here is how I put it in an article for the Association of Fundraising Professionals:

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April 22, 2020

Do You Want to Take a Walk on the Wild Side?

This post is a bit unusual. Okay, it’s a lot unusual.

I recently discovered that some of my most viewed tweets are pictures of flowers. That’s right. Not puppies. Not kittens. Not a pizza-eating groundhog. Flowers!

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, most of us are living under stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We don’t get outside nearly as much as we normally would during springtime. Furthermore, we’re inundated with non-stop, doom-and-gloom news coverage. Even the nonprofit and fundraising media have been reporting extensively about the impact of coronavirus. You’ve certainly read a number of such posts here.

So, after thinking about all of this, I realized that, like me, you could probably use a bit of a break. A break from the scary news. A break from a stressful life. A break from being mostly trapped indoors.

Because self-care is so important if we’re going to remain able to help others, I thought I’d give you a short escape. Experiencing nature is said to make us feel happier. It also improves our health in a number of ways, including boosting the immune system. That’s why I decided to share some simple snapshots I’ve taken with my cell phone while out on walks with my wife. I took most of the photos at our neighborhood garden at Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital. I’m also sharing a daffodil photo from the historic Hill-Physick House, and cherry blossom pictures from in front of my home.

I hope you enjoy this walk on the wild side:

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April 1, 2020

Stress Relief for Fundraisers: A Special Webinar for You

Help is on the way!

In the best of times, we all experience occasional stress. Sometimes, it’s personal stress. Sometimes, it’s professional stress. Sometimes, it’s both. Now, with the coronavirus pandemic, we are all dealing with a massive, new level of tension.

Most of us are working from home, many for the first time. We don’t go out much. We have personal financial concerns. We have loved ones we worry about and care for. We have anxiety about our own health.

Fundraising professionals are also concerned about continuing to raise the vital resources to help nonprofit organizations fulfill their missions, now more important than ever. As you know, we shoulder a tremendous burden.

If giving into stress were helpful, that would be fine. Unfortunately, stress itself is corrosive. It drains our energy. It erodes our immune system. Stress causes physiological and psychological damage. It makes us less pleasant to be around. It makes us less able to care for others.

To help you cope more effectively with the stress in your life, I’m hosting a special webinar for fundraising and nonprofit professionals:

Stress Relief for Fundraisers

Date: Monday, April 6, 2020, 4:00-5:00 pm (EDT)

Expert Instructor: Michelle Stortz, C-IAYT, ERYT500, MFA

Requested Donation: This is a donation-based webinar. Any contribution amount from $1 to $100 will grant you access. The suggested amount is $20. Your donation will help Michelle to continue to provide services for people living with cancer and chronic diseases at little to no cost.

Platform: This class will happen via Zoom. The link for joining will be sent 15 minutes before the session. Registration will end 15 minutes before the session.

You’ll Learn: Discover practices for managing stress in difficult times:

        • Learn simple breathing techniques to ward off anxiety
        • Get grounded in your body through simple movements
        • Quiet your mind with concentration practices
        • Cultivate a framework for seeing what’s really here

Register Now: Click here to register for this webinar at Eventbrite.

Despite the challenges we face, there are plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. Let’s start by integrating some helpful practices for managing stress. Join me in this one-hour class on stress reduction. When you take some time to take better care of yourself, you’ll be in a much better position to take care of others.

While the webinar will provide a number of techniques for coping with stress, I want to give you one simple technique right now.

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March 18, 2020

Are You Feeling Overwhelmed? Take a Moment for YOU.

With life comes stress. With coronavirus comes much more stress.

When times get more challenging, we need to be especially careful to take care of ourselves. If we don’t take proper care of ourselves, we’ll be in no condition to help others. We need to practice self-care to ensure both our physical and mental wellbeing.

Knowing that, my wife and I went for a long walk to get out of the house and away from the depressing, on-going news about coronavirus (COVID-19). We wanted to clear our heads, relax, gain some perspective, escape a bit.

While on our walk, we came across some daffodils. The sight reminded me of a poem I enjoy reading every springtime. We appreciated our break, and felt recharged. Based on the initial responses I received when I mentioned this on LinkedIn, I decided to share the poem, and a photo I took, to give you a bit of break from all the news, too. I hope you enjoy them.

I also hope you take the time to take care of yourself. Eat right. Exercise. Meditate. Phone friends. Go for a walk. Do whatever works for you. The coronavirus situation will not end in a week or two. The crisis will likely last for months with the economic ramifications felt even longer. We’re in a marathon, not a sprint. Take care of yourself. Pace yourself.

Okay, enough preaching. I hope you enjoy the poem and the above photo:

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