Self-care is critical. Learn how w/ tips from Matt Bennett & HCH advocates.
Self-care is critical. Learn how w/ tips from Matt Bennett & HCH advocates.
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December 14, 2017 | Volume 21, No. 13 | Archives
Self-Care Training Regimen for the Revolution
As we prepare for another year filled with policy perils, action alerts, and election chaos, we recognize that the most important thing advocates can do is take care of themselves. For this issue we welcome a guest post from the esteemed author and advocate, Matthew Bennett, on self-care during a revolution.
Fight, because people will die if they repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Fight, because HUD cuts will mean thousands of more people will experience homelessness.
Fight, because we know what tax cuts mean for that kid we care about whose family is currently sleeping in their car.
Fight, because we can’t let bigotry take the ground we have gained for our friends in the LGBTQ community.
Fight, because racist ideology should never determine policy.
Fight, fight, fight--if we lose those we love might die.
Our fight did not start last January; our struggle for social justice and human rights is timeless. However, our effort does go through different stages and iterations. Old ways of racist, ignorant, and bigoted ideology do not die with a whimper; instead, it must rise so that we may see its true and ugly nature. It is this exposure that motivates the masses to action creating an “equal and opposite reaction” that moves social justice forward and solidifies our gains.
We fight because history shows that those who construct a wall of compassion against hatred and ignorance change societies for the better. As we fight desperately for fundamental human rights such as health care and housing, our well-being seems almost selfish to even consider. Understanding that the most significant challenges of our lives await us in the coming months, we must breathe, refresh, and plan for how we bring our best selves to the fight for the future of those for which we advocate.
Self-care is not an option my friends! It is as much a part of the fight as our community organizing and advocacy to policymakers. Recovery is when our mind and bodies incorporate our exertion and the knowledge we gained into resiliency and increased strength. Without stopping, taking a breath, and reflecting on lessons learned we lose the opportunity to grow and instead become exhausted and ineffective in our work. 
Consider what follows my training protocol for the revolution! I want you to be a rockstar change agent: your friends and family deserve your best, and those we serve demand we bring all our mental and physical resiliency for the fight of our lifetime. As we say goodbye to one year and look ahead to the next, it is the perfect time to start a self-care regimen, build strength and resiliency, and create habits that will maintain your health and energy well into your future. 
Remember, you are not alone in your struggle. There are thousands of us working every day to help those struggling in our community. We need you at your best to hold on to the gains we made over the last several years and will need you at your best when the tide turns and opportunities present themselves in the future.
View Matt's Training Regimen for the Revolution
Don't miss Matt's podcast on the Self-Care Struggle featuring National HCH Council's Senior Director of Policy, Barbara DiPietro.
This post can also be found on Matt's blog.
Matthew Bennett is a speaker, trainer, and author who specializes in the delivery of trauma-informed care, quality improvement, results-based leadership, and Motivational Interviewing. Click here to join his Matt's Mumblings Blog and Trauma-Informed Lens mailing lists and check out his book Connecting Paradigms: A Trauma-Informed & Neurobiological Approach to Motivational Interviewing Implementation.
Self-Care Tips from HCH Activists
"I find a balanced diet of fighting in solidarity for justice, learning from fellow students, sharing emotionally with friends and laughing a lot mixed with regular portions of natural beauty keeps my fur shiny and teeth white. I don't put my life in boxes --whatever nourishes me is what I drink. Embrace the good fight!"
Jim Withers, M.D.
Founder & Executive Director, Street Medicine Institute
Founder & Medical Director, Operation Safety Net
Pittsburgh, PA
"I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. I organize my days where I can have at least three days down. My advice is to rest as much as possible. Visit the doctor regularly. Stay socially involved. Engage in cultural and community activity. My favorite method of self-care is preparing my favorite meal and watching a movie or reading a good book."

Terrye “Sukari” Finley
Co-Chair, National Consumer Advisory Board
Board member, Los Angeles Christian Health Center
Los Angeles, CA
“Rainer Maria Rilke said: ‘No Feeling is Final.’ If there’s a mountain to climb, climb it and contemplate it; if there’s a river to run, run it and soak it up; if there’s a dog to walk, head to the park; if there’s a comfortable couch and a good book to read, get lost in it.”
Jenny Metzler
President, National Health Care for the Homeless Council Board of Directors
Executive Director, Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless
Albuquerque, NM
“When it comes to self-care, I’m fortunate because I like to have fun–especially laughing, exercising, and dancing –and I’m naturally optimistic. My optimism isn’t the clouds-in-the sky type, but is rooted in history; for inspiration, I go back to past successes in advancing human rights – the ending of slavery and apartheid, and the ongoing dismantling of Jim Crow. I view setbacks as momentary–we will eventually succeed as long as we don’t give up.”
Bobby Watts
CEO, National HCH Council
Nashville, TN
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Regina Reed, MPH
National Health Policy Organizer
National HCH Council
Baltimore, MD
(443) 703-1337 
Take Action!
Homeless Persons' Memorial Day
Homeless Persons' Memorial Day is December 21st. Participate in our Twitter Chat at 2pm EST and use this as an opportunity to engage lawmakers. Read more on how you can take action for HPMD. Don’t forget to register your event so community members can find you.
Health Center Funding Cliff
Keep up the noise on the Health Center Funding Cliff (read an update on the status of the cliff). Negotiations are still underway in Congress, and we must remain vigilant. Contact your legislators immediately and tell them they must fix the cliff using this tool from NACHC and our talking points
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