Self-Love: Taking time to Rejuvenate your Passion for Serving Youth

December is a special time for any youth development professional. Club kids have a level of energy that is indescribable. Staff are diligently creating activities to keep the kids’ busy minds and bodies engaged. It can be exhausting. Before the fatigue of the holiday season sets in, take time for both you and your fellow staff members to take part in self-love to help keep the flame of dedication to serving youth aglow.

Practicing self-love is not always the most natural part of working in a youth based job but it is a critical component. It is a time for us to reinvigorate passion while acknowledging the successes of our work; both big and small. Self-love, or self-care, can be accomplished in many ways! Check out these strategies to pick which works best for you and your organization.

  • Buddy System- Pick a fellow staff member to check-in with regularly. Checking in with your “buddy” is a time to decompress and share positive words! Talking with your designated listener, or buddy, doesn’t always have to be scheduled but it is important to have at least one person that you can have an open line of communication with!

  • Cultivate awareness and compassion- Be aware of your energy levels. Is the energy tank low? Take five minutes in a quite space, without your phone if possible, and recharge. Also, it is completely okay to need five minutes to yourself! You do important work that can have stressors.

  • Create quiet, peaceful places- Pick one spot in your Clubhouse that can be used for a staff member, or even Club members, to sit quietly and relax. It can be an office. It can be a corner of room. Your space may have green plants, comfortable furniture, or calm colors.

  • Smile!- Do things that make you smile to get endorphins going. Have your favorite song queued up, think of your favorite memory, or create a “Smile” journal. A “Smile” journal can be a notebook, file on your computer, or collection of Post-Its that allow you to write successes and positive experiences that happen. It might take a few extra minutes to write these things down but they will come in handy when your energy tank is running low.

Self-love can be difficult because as youth development professionals we are focused on helping others. However, to continue our work, it is critical that we show ourselves love and compassion when it is needed. You are doing great things for youth in your community. We appreciate you!