– Selena Ibarra, 2021 SAF Cosecha fellow
One of the issues reinforced for me at the Cosecha retreat in October was the need for self-care in the workplace because we, as leaders, are a part of a great movement for social justice. One of the workshops that stood out to me from the retreat focused on the three steps to self-regulate: awareness, reflection, and regulation. These three simple steps can go a long way to help us show up for social justice work and make a difference in what we do.
Being aware of your surroundings and what is going on internally in your body and mind will help you better understand your specific needs. Reflecting on your self-awareness can aid you in seeing a much greater picture and serve to meet your own needs further and hence meet the needs of the community you are serving. Once you have processed your awareness and reflection, self-regulation comes into play, understanding when you have reached your limits.
After the retreat, I have been more mindful and attuned to my body and my mental needs. I wake up focusing on what I want to accomplish by practicing more self-awareness and being more attuned with how I feel during everyday tasks. Sometimes I have caught myself beginning to linger in worry, and I have stopped to reflect on those feelings and what I need at that moment to regulate and take care of myself.
Although I do not work directly with farmworkers, through SAF, I have learned so much regarding the farmworker movement and the realization that the work must go on. My workplace, a non-profit, aims to combat poverty, an issue that farmworkers also face. There will be many attempts and failures before we see a positive outcome in the complexity of poverty issues. I realize that the three principles: awareness, reflection, and regulation have to be a regular part of my routine because I need to be fully equipped to deal with the obstacles of working in this movement.