What does DEI and self-care have to do with each other? Everything! Whether you identify as part of the global majority, work in DEI, are new to equity work, or are just starting the journey to create more diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces at your events, you will at some point become tired, stressed, overwhelmed, or just feeling “done.”
Start where you stand…every step of your journey and your work should start with “starting where you stand.”
This means taking care of your self first. Sounds simple? If it only were so easy to put ourselves and self-care first! Begin by creating a morning routine where you have a set list of 3 to 5 tasks you want to accomplish before the day begins that are NOT work-related. These tasks should be related to your self-care—meditation, prayer, exercise, journaling, reading for pleasure, etc. Anything goes as long as it is something positive for your mental health and stress management. These are the things you are giving to yourself every day before you give to others.
These are non-negotiables in your day.
Set boundaries…this is also a non-negotiable. Boundaries setting is difficult for so many of us. This can be for a variety of reasons from our upbringing, to being an empath, to never being in a social construct that empowers….BUT! You are powerful, capable, and amazing (say this back to yourself aloud right now on repeat)!
Stand in your power and set boundaries where needed. What does this look like in reality? Begin by saying “no”. This is the hardest word to say sometimes but incredibly necessary in our personal lives and work lives. Setting boundaries will allow you to protect your mental health wellness and let others be accountable for their own actions. For many of you reading this, you’ve carried the weight of others and their choices for far too long.
Setting boundaries may feel uncomfortable at times, but it’s necessary, especially when creating and supporting diversity, equitable, and inclusive spaces.
How Do You Set Boundaries?
Sit with yourself…these are the words of Future Cain, social-emotional learning expert and DEI and anti-racism leader. Take time to “sit with yourself.” How do you set boundaries—sit with yourself and take time to think about what makes sense for you.
How do you practice self-care—sit with yourself and make a list of how you will commit to taking care of yourself. Identify as part of the global majority and overwhelmed by the events of the world and the lack of awareness of your white colleagues—sit with yourself and take whatever time you need to process what is going on—it’s on your timeline and no one else’s. Whatever the question or issue—sit with yourself first.
Start where you stand…set boundaries…sit with yourself.