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Self-Care For Stress Reduction

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How can we care for ourselves in a way that reduces our stress and builds resilience? This training provides suggestions and resources that aims to support you in attending to your own inner advocate who wants change, ease and calm, but might struggle at times to find or create it.

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TOC and Guide Section
 
Consider The Context

In CCL we embrace the philosophy that “action is the antidote to despair”  but sometimes we may need to step back and recharge before immediately acting.

  • Know yourself & accept your needs 
    • Reflect on what needs do you have in any particular moment. Find ways to accept how to make it okay to embrace your own needs (i.e. allow yourself to take a breather from climate advocacy to refill your cup).
  • Stress management
    • Limit COVID-19 updates. It’s important to stay informed, but limit exposure to things that trigger anxiety. With so much new information coming out daily on TV and social media, set boundaries for when and how much news you receive so that you can keep feelings of anxiety at bay.
Lean On Your Resources
  • Maintain a healthy diet
    • Set a schedule for meal times and snacks to avoid mindless or stress eating. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, which contain vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are good for your immune system. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, and limit alcohol and sugary drinks because of the empty calories.
  • Get adequate sleep
    • Feeling stress and anxiousness can keep you awake, so aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. This will help keep hormones regulated and improve concentration and productivity. If you’re having difficulty falling asleep, try deep breathing or meditation to quiet your thoughts.
  • Connect with your support systems
    • Consider the connections you have with family, friends, and your CCL network. Who might be available to support you? With whom might it feel good to connect or talk? Sometimes it can help to draw a circle of support, starting with those closest to you and moving outward. Reach out to set up a phone or video call and look more into the Community Resilience model.
  • Nature
    • Get outside! Find the trees (check out forest bathing), a creek, the ocean, a canyon, a hillside, a hidden corner. Go on a walk, a hike, a bike ride, garden, hang in your backyard. 
    • Being active may seem like a challenge while social distancing, but try to get up and move around as much as you can throughout the day. When the weather is nice, walk the dog or go out for a walk, maintaining social distance, of course.
  • Knowledge of neurobiology
    • Our brains are set up to trigger a strong immediate reaction in times of stress -think fight vs. flight. It can take 20 minutes to reconnect to more grounded responses, so be patient and give yourself time if you notice feeling amped up.
  • Focus On The Now
    • Video excerpt: A short and simple grounding practice, to help you relax and come into the moment. Explore these other grounding practices.
    • What’s happening, right now?  What do you see, hear, taste, touch, smell? What do you needs do you have that you can attend to?
The Importance Of Play

“Play is a state of mind.”
- Stuart Brown (Brown’s TED Talk), author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul

  • It’s not always easy to start, but it holds many benefits including stress reduction.
  • You don't have to be "in the mood" to play, the benefits come from the act and the brain state that is created from the process. 
  • “It is safe to say that if you find play to be a source of stress, you’re not doing it right.” Sam Wang, Ph.D. and Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D
  • Discover your Play Personality: The Joker, The Kinesthete, The Explorer, The Collector, The Director, The Artist/Creator, The Competitor, or the Storyteller
    • To start, reflect on something that you used to love to do as a child. It might be something that you no longer do, or perhaps you’ve carried it with you over the years. Consider if and how you might be able to integrate this love in small or large ways as a catalyst to play.

For additional resources, see the resources, articles, book lists, videos of practices and ideas to integrate at Changing Your Climate, which includes a page about Climate Camp -- a recent workshop, piloted in February 2020, just before the Greater Pacific Northwest Regional Conference. 
 

CCL’s Peer Support Action Team
  • Have you felt anxious, hopeless, frustrated or depressed about the impacts from climate change or your climate advocacy?
  • We have a choice on how we respond to challenges in the world.  Who do you want to be as a climate advocate?  

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”    - Victor Frankl

  • This quote reflects how CCL's Peer Support by Victor Frankl resonates with how we take those core values and make them real in our life.

Topics Covered in Ongo

  • A twelve week approach based on the Ongo Book (short for ongoing spiritual practice) of greater self-understanding and self-care
  • Practice for empathy of self and others through weekly group and partner meet-ups as well as solo practice
  • Practice Identifying Needs (Needs Wheel) - in understanding universal needs we engage in practicing empathy and understand our own responses that better fit circumstances.
    • Responding when someone pushes one of your hot buttons. Climate advocates need to be able to thoughtfully respond to statements that have angered or  “set us off” 
  • Gratitude and celebration are daily experiences
Find out more information by joining CCL’s  Peer Support Action Team Home Page on Community
Sharing Together In Climate Grief
  • Last year, the DC chapter organized an event where volunteers and members of the community could come and discuss their anxieties around climate change.  
  • Based on the Good Grief Network’s approach to hosting climate anxiety groups, the origin of this event started after a few leaders in the chapter got together for a planning dinner just after the 2018 COP conference in Poland.
  • An important note: If organizing make sure the event is focused on the positive amidst the desire to create space for folks to express their own grief and anxieties.
  • One powerful frame for a quote comes from Vox climate writer David Roberts from his article called “Hope and Fellowship.” He poses, what are people really asking when they ask about "hope"? If what they're asking is: I feel hopeless as if my efforts don't matter. The the response is: 

“When we ask for hope, then, I think we’re just asking for fellowship. The weight of climate change, like any weight, is easier to bear with others. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in these last 10 years, it’s that there are many, many others. They are out there, men and women [children, people!] of extraordinary imagination, courage, and perseverance, pouring themselves into this fight for a better future. You are not alone. And as long as you are not alone, there is always hope.” - David Roberts

Length
Press play to start the video (48m 01s)
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6958101
Video Outline
To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(from beginning)

Consider The Context
(4:28)

Know Yourself & Accept Your Needs
(5:57)

Lean On Your Resources
(10:04)

The Importance Of Play
(18:14)

Climate Anxiety Event
(27:36)

CCL Peer Support Action Team
(30:32)

Instructor(s)
  • Tamara Staton
  • Jeff Joslin & Laura Sacks
  • Debbie Chang
Downloads

Download PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.

Download the video.
Audio length
Press play to start the audio (48m 01s)
Audio embed code
Audio Outline

To skip ahead to a specific section go to the time indicated in parenthesis.

Intro & Agenda
(from beginning)

Consider The Context
(4:28)

Know Yourself & Accept Your Needs
(5:57)

Lean On Your Resources
(10:04)

The Importance Of Play
(18:14)

Climate Anxiety Event
(27:36)

CCL Peer Support Action Team
(30:32)

Instructor(s)
  • Tamara Staton
  • Jeff Joslin & Laura Sacks
  • Debbie Chang

 

To Print
Instructions for printing this page on Community.
Category
Training
Topics
Chapter Organizing
Format
Audio / Video, Presentation
File Type
Google Doc, PowerPoint (.pptx)