Volunteers, we care about your wellbeing

By: Brier Published: 21/06/2021

Over a year ago, volunteers everywhere had to adjust to new virtual ways of taking action because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more online opportunities came Zoom fatigue and additional mental health challenges. It is easy to feel stressed out by our current realities. This is a reminder of the importance of self-care as a volunteer advocate year-round. Please make time to reset and take great care of yourself. 

Can you relate to this feeling?

Working towards ending poverty is a wonderful endeavour you are happy to dedicate time to, but recently even small tasks could feel like too much. You may feel guilty about that - what a privilege to be sitting in Canada feeling overwhelmed. Somehow, that guilt makes it even harder to reply to emails, attend meetings, and take action. Is this what they call compassion fatigue? Maybe burnout?

It could be - it is certainly a sign that you need to reassess whether you are taking good enough care of yourself. By focusing on others and current events, you may have forgotten about your own wellbeing.

Keep in mind that the key to standing in solidarity with those experiencing extreme poverty is being part of a long term collective goal - it means committing for the long-haul. To ensure that you are able to continue passionately contributing to the goal, it is important to prioritize your wellbeing. 

Next time you find yourself overwhelmed, try:

  1. Doing less or taking a break. Every contribution you make is essential and impactful, no matter how small you deem it to be. If you need a break, just make sure you tell your group leader how long you need.
  2. Talking to your leader about what you are feeling. Maybe there is a solution they can implement for the whole group.
  3. Setting up some digital boundaries and taking time away from your devices. For example, you could create an email account solely for your volunteer activities and check it at set times.
  4. Scheduling fixed times to do your volunteering activities. Don’t feel like you always have to be ready to take action.
  5. Selecting which calls from Results are most important for you to attend - you don’t need to attend all of them and many are recorded!
  6. Reframing how you think about making an impact. Focus on the steps you have taken towards the goal instead of everything you think you should be doing. There will be plenty more opportunities to contribute in the future.
  7. Reminding yourself that you’re not alone. As we said earlier, our mission is not a sprint and will take time. There are volunteers like you across the country and across the world who take action: the strength of our advocacy is that we all care and are doing something about it.

Remember, above all, you are a better advocate when you take care of yourself! We truly appreciate the impact you make as a volunteer and want you to feel great doing it. Make sure you reach out to your group leader or staff if you ever need support. 

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