Self-care is easy to talk about, but much harder to put into practice when you are living the fast-paced campaign life. Here are seven easy ways that you can integrate it into your routine as an organizer:
1. Don’t slack on your 1:1’s.
Whether you’re starting your first campaign or you’re moving to a new territory, 1:1’s are your best friend. Create a list of top volunteers in your territory and ask them to go out for coffee or lunch. Building strong relationships with your top volunteers will be well worth your time in the long run, and you’re also getting out of the office for a much-needed break from canvassing and phone banking.
2. Get your full 8 hours of sleep.
Put down your old, outdated paper packet and download the MiniVAN app. Every day, organizers spend hours printing, assembling, and entering walk packet data into VAN. The MiniVAN app will save you hours of time and energy. With MiniVAN you'll cut down on paper waste and you'll no longer need to spend hours on data entry, because all of the information will be automatically uploaded from your smartphone. Now go home and actually get some sleep!
3. Shake up call time.
If you find that your favorite phone bank lists are no longer fruitful, shake things up a bit and create a new list. We all love calling our Super Volunteers, but it's also important to give them a rest sometimes! Freshening up your list will help you avoid calling volunteers more than twice a day; we love our volunteers and we want to keep them coming back. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next canvass captain on the list less used!
4. Take 20 minutes for yourself each day.
Campaigns sometimes require organizers to work 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for months at a time. With this schedule, a “self-care” day may not fit on your calendar, but finding a little time every day should be a priority. Look at your calendar every day and block off a minimum of 20 minutes for yourself, whether you go to a yoga class, get a haircut, or just take a walk. You deserve to treat yourself!
5. Remember that asking for help isn’t a weakness.
Honesty is always the best policy. If you find yourself struggling to meet your goals, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone has good and bad weeks. Entering call sheets and walk packets can take some time and asking for assistance will get everyone out of the office a little earlier. This works both ways with your teammates too. If you see someone struggling, always lend a hand - you never know the next time you’ll need help!
6. Eat food that makes you feel good
We've all been there. On the campaign trail, it’s easy to slip into the habit of eating food from McDonald’s or the other closest fast-food restaurant every day. You're working a demanding job with long-hours, so make sure to eat something every day that will give your body sustainable energy. Reserving a few hours at the end of the week to meal prep simple lunches can ensure that you're getting your daily veggies, and buying some healthy snacks to have on hand can go a long way toward keeping you feeling happy and energetic during even the longest weeks.
7. Always finish what you start
We all know the age-old proverb: “If it isn’t in VAN, it doesn’t exist.” High volunteer capacity is what we strive for on the campaign trail, but if you don’t close your shifts at the end of the day, did you even hit your goals? Fortunately, you can create daily tasks to remind yourself throughout the day to close your shifts so you never miss a volunteer shift goal again!
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