The theme of Community Manager Advancement Day (CMAD) 2020 was self-care, and while CMAD 2020 was technically last week, we think every day is a good day to take care of yourself.
Self-care is especially important for community managers because they’re often carrying the emotional load for multiple worlds – your work world with a community and colleagues, and your personal life with family, friends, and everything in between. With all of the empathy, strategy, and tactical execution required around the clock, it’s no wonder community managers feel burned out. Let’s talk about what self-care is and what self-care isn’t.
Self-care is whatever recharges your physical, mental, and spiritual battery.
Self-care isn’t all bubble baths, rosé, and spa visits. Self-care isn’t prescriptive – what works for someone may not work for you. It’s important to know yourself and understand your unique needs (without judgment – there’s enough of that in the world already).
When we asked the community for their self-care tips, we noticed some themes and we want to pass them on to you so you can get to the good stuff – taking care of your most important asset: you.
Many of TheCR Network members identified movement as a key piece of their self-care routine. Yoga, running, and long walks were the most frequently mentioned and it’s easy to see why – they can be done anywhere, any time, with minimal equipment. Yoga is my go-to for physical self-care, especially during the cold Kansas City winters. I love Yoga With Adriene. Her videos are FREE (my favorite price point), challenging (in a good way), and they vary in length. I don’t always have time for a 90-minute class. Rather than skipping yoga altogether I can sneak in a 25-minute class in the comfort of my living room. No chanting required.
Community is key – even for community managers. As the folks behind TheCR Network, we’re more than a little biased in thinking that our community is great, but it was nice to get some outside validation from our members who said that having a place they could go to for advice, mentorship, and an occasional vent session is priceless. You can’t put a price on feeling seen and being understood, but if you could, it would probably look like TheCR Network membership. I’m a lurker in TheCR Network – I don’t participate much, but I regularly check in to see what’s going on – and I’m always floored by how generous our members are with their time, expertise, and guidance. All the heart emojis for our members.
Is owning a pet a spiritual experience? I say “YES” because I have three sweet fur babies at home and I’m pretty sure they’re angels, which automatically puts them in the spiritual realm for me. Jokes aside, lots of our members said that spending time with their four-legged friend is one of the most soothing things on the planet. Meditation was a close second and it’s hard to argue with all of its scientifically-proven benefits. When I’m not at The Community Roundtable, I teach meditation and love helping folks take a breather. Feel free to reach out with any questions about meditation.
How Do I Start Practicing Self-Care?
Just start! Pack a nutritious lunch for yourself, take a walk during your lunch break, cuddle your pet, find a quiet corner and meditate for 8 minutes. Pro tip: aspiring teachers are always looking to practice teaching in front of people. Reach out to a local yoga or meditation studio and see if any of their teacher training graduates or trainees are interested in using your organization as a guinea pig. They’ll often do the first session for a reduced (or free) rate.