Not-for-profit leaders share their healthy habits

Last week, 12 – 17 June, was Men’s Health Week, but it doesn’t have to be Men’s Health Week to shine a spotlight on important health issues facing men.

Below, three prominent not-for-profit leaders share what healthy habits they stick to in order to feel good physically, emotionally and mentally.

Name and title: Shane Sturgiss, CEO
Organisation: BlaQ Aboriginal Corporation

Working in the NFP space for the past 20 years can be very emotionally taxing. To be able to continue to amplify the voices of the Aboriginal Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual + Sistergirl and Brotherboy (LGBTQIA+SB) peoples and communities, it’s vital for me to be in a good headspace. Throughout the years, I’ve developed my own habits to make sure I preserve my mental health and I achieve this through self-awareness and placement.

Self-awareness is the intentional attention given to one’s own feelings, thoughts, and behaviours. By practising self-awareness, I am able to acknowledge and understand my emotions, my reactions, my triggers, my strengths and my weaknesses in an objective manner through introspection.

I regularly check in with myself and take the time to reflect on how I’m coping, how am I feeling today?

Being self-aware also means knowing one’s limitations. Working in the NFP space, it’s easy to get fired up about certain societal issues and want to do something about them to drive a positive impact. However, I stop myself because I know that I cannot take on everything and my rule of thumb is to never extend outside my areas of expertise and stay focused on where I can drive the most change for the communities I’m serving.

As a queer Aboriginal man, it’s so important that I make time to unleash and unpack the day’s traumas. I acknowledge and validate my feelings and give myself permission to feel sad, angry, or upset when things are not good.

Name and title: Craig Taunton, RESPECT Program Manager
Organisation: Outloud

Our RESPECT program works with boys aged 10-12 years old, teaching singing and songwriting through the lens of understanding healthy relationships and the drivers behind domestic violence.

Through open conversations that help the boys unpack their expectations and ideas about gender roles, we help them think about what is important in a relationship – like trust, honesty, kindness and equality. The boys write their own song about what they’ve learned, and we record it and film a music video clip that we put on YouTube. 2023 is the 10-year anniversary of the program, so some of the first boys who completed it now have children of their own!

Through this program, we hope to create generational change in men’s well-being, and that of their partners, through healthy and happy relationships.

I try to model what we teach the boys in my own relationship – having regular open conversations about what we both need, what we’re feeling, and how we can support each other.

These conversations aren’t always easy, but they’re important and strengthen our relationship.

Name and title: Julian Clarkson, Marketing and Communications Manager
Organisation: BEING – Mental Health Consumers

In my experience, everyone has a unique experience so it’s difficult, and possibly unhelpful, to be too prescriptive about what are healthy habits for mental health as people doing it tough are usually their own harshest critics.

That said, I find there are some things that definitely contribute to better mental health such as:

 

  • Getting enough sleep (7-8 hours)
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Limiting your alcohol intake and social media use
  • Doing some exercise (doesn’t have to be super intense, just get moving)
  • Making time to do the things you love
  • Spending time in nature: at the beach, in the woods
  • Spending time with others, especially people you really connect with

As helpful as these things can be, I also think that it’s important to try and take a positive attitude. Be kind to yourself. Adopting new habits is one of the hardest things to do, so don’t expect miracles. Start with picking just one of these things and set the intention to do it today, and see how you go.

Telling yourself that you “should” do something new today and for every day after that can quickly become a tall mountain. “Should” can be a very destructive word.

Start with one thing, today.

And then try again tomorrow, and the day after that. And be kind to yourself if you forget or can’t summon the energy. Keep trying.

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.

LET’S KEEP

IN TOUCH!

We’re sorry!

We hate annoying pop-up windows too,

but before you hit the x button, please

take three seconds and subscribe to our

website for free. We’re a team of

dedicated volunteer journalists and

we’d really appreciate your support by

supporting us by subscribing below. 

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

LET’S KEEP

IN TOUCH!

We’re sorry!

We hate annoying pop-up windows too,

but before you hit the x button, please

take three seconds and subscribe to our

website for free. We’re a team of

dedicated volunteer journalists and

we’d really appreciate your support by

supporting us by subscribing below. 

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.