It’s time for another installment of our monthly blog feature, “I-ASC(I Ask) the Experts.” Our goal is to turn over some of the most frequently asked questions or issues to the true subject matter experts – the spellers!
This month’s question – What’s your advice on balancing advocacy with physical and mental wellness?
For many of us, advocacy will be a lifelong pursuit. If we don’t nurture our own well-being, we will be empty with no capacity to give of ourselves to effect change for others. Prioritize yourself and, just as importantly, eschew the notion that if you don’t say “yes” to everything right now, the opportunities will dry up. The need for advocacy is, unfortunately, going nowhere, so fortify yourself for the journey. ~ Noah Seback, Georgia
Advocacy is my passion. It takes determination and perseverance. My desire to advocate gives me the physical and mental strength to inspire others. ~ Sarah Ackerman, Pennsylvania
When advocating for your rights, it’s important to speak from your soul. Our might comes in the form of simplicity and ease. Let your passion flow through you, and take breaks when you need them. ~ Anshil, Florida
Advocating for yourself and others requires courage, determination, resilience, and creativity. Having emotional and physical well-being is critical for this work. To stay at my best, being with my friends and family, and keeping my body active helps me stay strong. ~ Ben Crimm, Pennsylvania
Choose your cause- Choose an organization that has personal meaning so you stay interested. Try to find the one that gives you joy when advocating for it. Once you select an area of interest, narrow it down. I joined the I-ASC Spellers & Allies Advocacy Network because it impacts me personally. ~Sofi Ghassaei, Washington
It is important to have balance in all you do in life. Your mental and physical wellness can directly affect your impact and performance as an advocate. Everyone understands dysregulation, but it’s best to keep it at a minimum if it’s within your control to be well rested and mentally good. It allows for clear articulation of your advocacy ideas and stances. ~ Jack Haynes, Virginia
It is very easy to be anxious when you are advocating for a cause close to your heart. It takes an emotional toll to hear stories about abuse and restraint. An advocate needs support from the CRP and peers to deal with the anxiety. I am grateful for all my speller friends who listen to me in the Forging Friendships meetup every Tuesday. It is also important to have fun with your friends. ~ Divyesh Jain, Florida
It is important to be aware of your own needs to be in a good space emotionally and physically. If you don’t advocate for yourself, you won’t be able to advocate for others! ~ Gregory Tino, Pennsylvania