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Episode 219 - Beth Kanter: The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit: Creating a Self-Care Culture Within the Workplace

Monday, July 03, 2017, 7:31:02 AM

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In this episode, Beth Kanter, author of "The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit," offers strategies to help both individuals and nonprofit organizations obtain impact without burnout and create a culture of self-care within the workplace. She discusses creative techniques to promote organizational changes that are designed to advance employees' well-being.

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Average Rating: 5stars  the importance of self-care, Sunday, February 11, 2018

By Clara B. :

I really enjoyed Beth Kanter's interview discussing self-care. I found the importance of self-care within an organizational setting interesting. There were so many wonderful suggestions given in the interview that can be applied to most work environments, such as walking meetings and a weekly walking group. One thing that seemed evident was that Ms. Kanter expressed that, she makes it a conscious effort to practice self-care in a way that suits her life. It seems as though the key is for it to be a group effort amongst co-workers. For me, the takeaway from this interview is that, if self-care is present within the workplace, then there is a good chance that it will result in a more productive work environment, improved relationships between colleagues, and higher job satisfaction.

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Average Rating: 5stars  great podcast on self-care culture in the workplace, Wednesday, February 07, 2018

By Marcie Ann :

I am an Assistant Director of a not-for-profit organization working full time as well as an MSW student that is currently interning. Needless to say, burnout is a real concern of mine. As an MSW student we are taught about self-care and most of us understand that it is good practice. However, I would bet that a lot of us don’t do it as much as we should. I am definitely one of those people. I admit I am guilty of reading emails and texts outside normal business hours and working on vacation but it is part of the culture at work. After listening to this podcast I am determined to make some changes in the workplace. Not only will these changes be beneficial for me but it will also be beneficial to my colleagues. There are several suggestions in this podcast that would change the culture of my not-for-profit for the better, e.g., walking meetings, mindfulness, and standing desks. The podcast mentioned the idea of a communal standing desk, which I think is a great idea. I also think that we can implement daily mindfulness practice where we shut the lights and phones off for ten minutes each day. Walking meetings also sound like a great idea. I have often taken 10 minute breaks to walk around the building. I don’t think it would be hard to convince my colleagues to do the same, and if we can be productive as we walk, well that’s an added bonus. At the individual level, I plan to design my phone so that I have boundaries. The tech tips on this podcast will be a big help to me in this endeavor. I had no idea you can block texts from certain people for certain hours! I am also going to use the app that was suggested to track my cell phone use. Last week I left my phone at work when I went out for lunch and I felt lost without it. Scary lost. Like realizing I might have an addiction lost. So I think I am going to make a conscious effort to “unplug” for an hour a day to start.

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Average Rating: 5stars  self care from a student perspective , Saturday, February 03, 2018

By Jared Riley :

As an MSW student, I believe that the importance self-care is overlooked by many students. I appreciate your saying that “self-care is not a luxury, it’s part of the work” because like many people have seen, in order to do meaningful work, we must take care of ourselves. In response to bringing the self-care “culture” into the workplace, I strongly agree that leadership and role modeling from higher-ups are important to making an impact on workers who lack/or put self-care on the back burner. It is also imperative to consider the individual perspective on self-care as you discussed, knowing themselves well enough to put their well being first. I think self-care plans are important to not only remind ourselves to take a step back, but also provide us with options for activities that we know will work if we get stuck. A concept you mentioned which was new to me was the wellness triad (exercise, sleep, and nutrition). While I think that many people know these three concepts vital to a well-functioning human being, I find that we often separate the three, not considering the significance of the interplay (at least I had not).
An idea that seemed to creep up in every part of your discussion was listening. Whether this is to your own body or to your workers in an organization when it comes to best self-care practices. Social work is so much about “tuning into” our clients that there could sometimes come a point where we “tune out” our self and our needs, it is almost like a trade-off. You explained it perfectly toward the end of the podcast that in an organization, listening to the workers when creating a collaborative self-care effort. In addition, making small, doable commitments to integrating self-care into our daily routine can make a world difference. My only question would be, how do we help those who are worried about work when they take the time off for themselves? How can we refocus ourselves on stopping the small thoughts that constantly invade our brains?

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