Connect Hackney

Self-care and sustainability: people and projects

The past couple of months have been a challenge for us all – including those working hard to keep our invaluable activities going at a crucial time when older people the connections they provide most. 

Many delivery partners have told us they needed to work over hours to navigate the humanitarian issues and support high levels of trauma, anxiety and isolation and loneliness (an experience many have shared to some degree over the past few months during lockdown).

Self-care and sustainability to prevent burn out and ensure project longevity are of crucial importance, so that we can continue to do great work and improve lives.

Our delivery partners experience and challenges

As some of you may have sadly experienced at this time, some of our project partners reported they had lost some of their members to Covid. As well as needing to provide some level of emotional support to other group members, they will of course themselves have had to process and deal with the impact of that on their own wellbeing.

It is sometimes hard to make time for that, especially when dealing with a crisis situation, but by taking care of ourselves we are more able to support others in a meaningful and sustainable way.
We want to support our crucially important delivery partners during these testing times and recognise communication is key.

Do you have any ongoing mental health support or training recommendations that you are aware of? We would love to hear – please get in touch.

Project sustainability

Connect Hackney is set to come to an end in March 2021, but we recognise now more than ever the ongoing need and importance of the work our delivery partners are doing. We also recognise that people and projects are stretched right now and may need additional funding asap. We have compiled a list of available funding here, and we emphasise the crucial importance in being really rigorous and realistic in the assessment of time needed to deliver your projects in this new world – especially when applying for new funding – so that delivery teams are not caught short and over-extending themselves beyond their capacity. For your projects to be sustainable, your contribution also needs to be sustainable.

Self-sustainability – self-care tip from me

I moonlight as a Wellbeing Alexander Technique Teacher – I run a practice essentially teaching people self-care and sustainability – how to deal with stress and tension in the mind and body, and move and be with greater ease. So I wanted to share with you one little tip, that I and my clients find very useful – it may be challenging, but you can do it!

In the middle of s stressful day, take a moment to TRULY STOP. To slow down. In fact stop exactly where you are right now.

Notice if you are breathing, or if you are holding your breath. If you are holding it just let go, nothing more. You don’t need to take a deep breath – just let go of holding on. Make sure if you can that both your feet are on the floor. Feel the connection to the ground. Notice if your mind is busy and bring your awareness to the whole space around you – the space above your head, the space behind you, space to your right and space to your left. Notice if there is tension you are holding onto in your body and let go. Just allow the breath in.

Nothing to do in this moment. Just give yourself this minute to come home to yourself and fullness of your experience. Allow all that you are feeling. Just witness it moving through you, and remember the space above and all around you, and the ground beneath completely supporting you. And on you go.

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