8 Ways to Care For Yourself - Perspective from People Working To End Child Trafficking | Love146
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“The trafficking and exploitation of children is one of the darkest stories and most severe human rights abuses imaginable.” We say this a lot at Love146: We know it’s true because we are deep in it.  So it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions we hear is: “How do you keep your head on straight while immersed in these horrific stories?”

We asked the Love146 team how they cope and take care of themselves. Here’s what we heard back:


1. MAKE SPACE TO PROCESS:

“Sometimes it helps to talk this through with others (especially those that understand the subject nature). Definitely spending time alone processing: thinking, reading, praying, and journaling.”

“Day-to-day self-care can be a full-on word vomit to my partner when I get home.”

“I process with friends who can understand.”

“I process by taking time out from what I’m working on in order to wrap my head/heart around it. Going for a walk, getting a coffee, talking with colleagues.”

“It’s important to have mental days to just unwind and process what you’re doing so you do not become overwhelmed.”


2. STEP AWAY:

“Traveling and friends. Being intentional in my leisure time creates space for me to engage fully in the work.”

“I meditate at the end of most days and hike on the weekends to get my mind off of this work.”

“I go to the beach. Time at the beach is always refreshing.”

“I sometimes detach by spending time doing activities that are not related to this work.”

“I’m learning to take longer chunks of time off – legitimately being off.”

“Being outside, surrounded by nature, helps me relax and remember that there is amazing beauty to be seen and marveled at.”


3. HAVE BOUNDARIES:

“Self-care looks like having a healthy boundary between this work and the rest of life.”

“I am not always deeply impacted by the subject matter. It is easy to compartmentalize when I need to.”

“When I’m reading something and I start to feel overwhelmed, I stop reading. I might return to the article after some time or maybe not.”


4. LAUGH:

“I like to bask in all the little, funny moments. There’s actually quite a lot of those, even if they’re small.”

“Have a conversation that makes you laugh.”

“Self-care looks like finding things to laugh about.”

I love that Love146 is also a humorous work environment. That helps to keep things light when needed.”


5. CRY:

“I let myself cry if I need to. I think some stories deserve tears — and not everyone has the luxury of crying. I know that if I start crying, I’ll be able to stop. Some people don’t know that. And so I cry because I can.”

“I like playing my piano. It is the one thing that I do that will bring me to tears of joy or sadness in a moment.”

“Someone I was just talking to says she waits until she is alone at home, so she can sing as loud as she wants for as long she wants. She may even dance or cry.”


6. ENJOY SIMPLE PLEASURES:

“Take moments to be grateful for what is good.”

“I focus on the kind of world we’re fighting for, and I try to never feel guilty for enjoying things I wish everyone could have. Everyone deserves to enjoy a movie. To turn the music up. To get a massage. To buy a candle that smells amazing. To make a meal of rainbow colors.”

“For me, self-care is playing with my kids.”


7. REMEMBER WHY:

“Ongoing self-care when I get to those places of “Why am I doing this?” is watching intense documentaries on any sort of human rights issue or injustice that gets me fired up and feeling like I’m in right place. Yes, I see how counterintuitive this is.”

“After almost 2 years at Love146, I’m still shocked that this issue is as large as it is. I feel the weight and gravity of it. Then I try to focus on the hopeful aspect — what’s being done about it and the healing that is being brought through what we do. It’s important to look forward since that’s the only way out.”

“I would be overwhelmed and discouraged if I learned about child trafficking but was unable to do anything about it, but since we are doing something I am hopeful and I view it as positive.”


8. BE OPEN TO NEW WAYS OF CARING FOR YOURSELF:

“I feel like I’m constantly learning, growing and improving on this one.”

“It looks different each time I need it. I do what I feel will help in that moment.”



How about you? How do you care for yourself? Comment on the Facebook post here, or tweet @love146

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