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Self-Care Tips for Fundraisers

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Sign saying "Take Care of Yourself"

In recognition of International Self-Care Day, July 24, we asked Dr. Linda Fleming McGhee to provide us a few of her tips for self-care. Dr. McGhee is going to be presenting the session, Self-Care for Those Who Lead: Healing for Leaders And Setting The Corporate Culture for Intentional Self-Care, at this year's AFP LEAD in Philadelphia, PA, October 19-21.

Whether you're an ascending fundraising leader, or you want to brush up on the latest trends in nonprofit leadership, AFP LEAD is a must-attend event to become a better leader in the fundraising sector. See the list of sessions and register here

1.  Self-Inventory. Think about the state of your body, mind, and spirit. Document where you are in terms of your physical health. Have you had a physical lately? Make a plan to put your annual doctors' visits on your calendar around a significant date in your life, such as your birthday or the beginning of the year. Pay attention to, and have checked, any bodily aches, pains, and ailments. Document your level of sleeping and eating habits. Next, ask yourself, what are the things that feed my mind and spirit? Am I engaging my mind and keeping it sharp? This could include whether your job stimulates you. It could also encompass getting a therapist to help you work through mental challenges, mood disorders, or relational concerns. Finally, what is the state of your spirit and are you honoring what you need to thrive? For some, taking care of your spirit might mean joining a meditation practice, daily walks, or attending religious services.  

2.  Do the inner work. What are some things I need to work on to honor my own needs. Self-care is not just about getting a manicure, it is also about how we move through the world. Do you take care of your well being by saying no to some of the demands that threaten to steal your stability? Tell yourself, "No is a complete sentence " and practice saying no to things that do not align with your values and well being. 

3.  Start Small and Be Consistent. Real change takes time. It is primarily a series of small and consistent steps. For example, a more fit body does not occur out of nowhere. It takes time, focused on intermediate goals, on a daily basis. So, by all means set a large goal but break it down into small actions. Pick one or two things you want to do and focus consistently. Experts say that it takes at least six weeks to incorporate new habits, so pick a goal and get going. Normalize that change often does not occur on a straight line and is often uneven and includes setbacks. Just get back on track the next day. Successfully incorporating one or two habits will give you confidence that further change is possible. Don't forget to celebrate the small victories!

Author Information

Linda HeadshotDr. Linda Fleming McGhee is a licensed clinical psychologist who speaks and writes nationally on mental health, race, and education. She received her Psy.D. from George Washington University following a career as an attorney. Dr. McGhee is Former President of the Maryland Psychological Association. She was formerly on the clinical faculty at the Washington School of Psychiatry and a former Adjunct Professor at George Washington University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Dr. McGhee is a mental health expert for the Steve Fund, an organization devoted to mental health for college students of color.

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