I spent a few hours getting to know the dedicated, passionate folks at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity this week as we talked about activism, mindfulness, and self-care. Here is a Q and A from that event.
Are there any follow up studies on activists better managing stress?
Per your request, I found the following study, “Relieving Burn-out and ‘Martyr Syndrome’ Among Social Justice Advocates: The Implications and Affects of Mindfulness.” It is a good read.
Here are three ways that the 14 activists in the study who had experienced burnout and used mindfulness practice as a rejuvenation tool stated it had helped, “(1) helping them find balance between their activism and self-care without feeling guilty about doing so, (2) helping them slow down and see the ‘‘big picture,’’ letting go of the pressure to eliminate injustice instantaneously, and (3) helping them more effectively manage the stress and anxiety of their activism” (2015, p. 707).
In the introduction, however, Gorski states, “… little heretofore has been done to evaluate the actual impact of specific strategies or sets of strategies for mitigating activist burnout and fostering activist sustainability” (Gorski, 2015, p. 697). So there is work to be done, and this is an area for potential.
Additionally, if you would like to read the original study I shared, here is a link to “Burnout in Social Justice and Human Rights Activists: Symptoms, Causes and Implications.”
On October 27 (I know; I am late!) I hosted a session for Grandview Heights City Schools titled, “Mindfulness for Teachers: Reducing Stress and Supporting Wholeness.” Here are a couple of resources and a short Q and A from the session.
First of all, here is the research report, “Teacher Stress and Health: Effects on Teachers, Students, and Schools” from Pennsylvania State University and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This report cited research stating that 46% of teachers reported high levels of daily stress that affected their quality of life and teaching performance. The report also cites mindfulness and social and emotional learning as two effective interventions for this burdensome stress.
Second of all, I cited the TEDTalk by Matt Killingsworth, “Want to be Happier? Stay in the Moment” as a resource that supports mindfulness as a tool for increased well-being. Killingsworth conducted the largest happiness study of its kind through an app that asked three questions that measured “mind wandering,” a mind-state that negatively affects happiness. The talk is 10 minutes and can be watched below.
Third, you can watch the video on neuroplasticity here on my website under “What is Mindfulness?” and learn more about mindfulness in general from the research provided there.
Lastly here is a Q and A from the event: