We know doing direct service abortion work can take its toll. After reading our dear Desembarazame's recent post, Trust, I got to thinking: what can we do to keep ourselves motivated? We've talked about how to not burn out, how to take care of ourselves; but what can we do to stay on fire, to keep "burning-in" day in and day out?
I loved what Desembarazame said about wearing her "Trust Women" button (and believing in it to her bones) and about dancing around in the building. I can imagine her - as I'm sure you can, too - bringing a lot of happiness and light to her clinic. I totally wish I worked with her!!! (She would completely rock as a co-worker, wouldn't she?!) I relate to how despite believing so much in what we do, it can be exhausting. Especially in times of change. Especially when co-workers are all up in eachother's business. Especially when I'm annoyed with some decision that someone has made.
Some motivation tips:
1) Share client stories with co-workers (even when they're being - err - a bit challenging. I'm talking about your co-workers, not the clients!).
2) Try to have direct contact with clients, make a connection (remember why you're doing what you're doing).
3) Pick people's brains that have done the work longer than you: ask them for stories from "back in the day." (They'll probably love a skip down memory lane.)
4) Read the Abortioneers Blog!! (Cheeky, I know!)
5) Or...STOP reading about abortiony stuff and abortionland! Take a break! (But not from our blog. OK? Please? Oh, well, alright. If you need a break, it's okay. We won't judge.) :)
*5) Take a long weekend off. No, not just from our blog...from your job, too! Yes, I'm serious! Play hooky! You have our permission! (Uhm...just don't tell your boss!)
In all seriousness, sometimes we need more than a weekend hiatus. Sometimes we need a few months. Or a year. Or longer. It's okay. Honestly. It is.
What kind of things help all of you not just avoid burn-out, but get you to BURN IN (per Jack Kerouac, per Daughter of Wands), to stay motivated?
*PS: We don't endorse lying to your employers. But we know everyone plays a little hooky-hooky sometimes. Just don't call in on a super busy day, like, when people are on vacation or you have clinic!!!!! Be a good co-worker and play sick responsibly!
*PPS: No, don't show this to your HR Manager. And no, we don't offer sick notes: fresh out!