Idealist was nice enough to feature one of my posts on their blog -- a round-up of three articles talking about the importance of activists taking care of themselves while working toward change. I wrote the article in May 2007, but I think it's always a good time to revisit the topic!
All at the same time, Jen Chau was running her own nonprofit, working 45 hours a week at another organization, starting a small business, and taking three classes. And a lot of activists and nonprofit professionals find themselves with similar lifestyles: by following their passion to make change in the world, they often over-commit their time and resources. Is it healthy?
Chau recently changed her approach and was inspired to write "Activism—now for the sane and healthy too!" on her blog, The Time is Always Right—because, she believes, "Activism needs a serious make-over. I am living proof." She recounts how she came to realize that while she does need to work (and work hard) for change in order to lead a happy and healthy life, she also needs to balance that work with more time spent with her family and friends; more purely fun activities, like allowing herself to read novels instead of only reading books about the issue she's working on; and getting eight hours of sleep a night.