Oh, how I learned to love long walks, meditating, and saying “no.”

Writing a blog post about self-care has a certain amount of irony for me. Because balance? Self-care? Self-compassion? NOT my forte.

Then I noticed something strange: I went on vacation with my family this summer and could. not. stop. working.

My laptop stayed open. My phone was constantly in my hands and I replied to every email, every inquiry, every request. I even taught a webinar and completed a huge project for a client - all while my family played at the beach. Me? I sat in a corner of a rundown coffee shop where I could get better wifi.

What was I doing? I was not being kind to my family (through not being engaged and present for them!), and it certainly wasn’t making me happy. Something had to give. Anyone out there nodding along with me? Volunteer management professionals tend to be “helpers” and a part of the “helping professions.” I have a feeling some of you identify with my dilemma.

I want to clarify that when I say “self-care” I don’t really mean spa days (though those are great! You do you!), but more caring for myself, day by day, minute by minute, so I can give of myself. For me, that means I need to 1) work thoughtfully and, honestly, less to ultimately 2) work longer, smarter, and better for years to come. I also added some mindfulness meditation to the mix, and that’s made a big impact for me as well.

Here are the tools I want to share with you. Your mileage may vary, but I hope one or two really resonate for you!


  • Thrive by Coldspring Center: This online course is easy to use, engaging, compassionate, and deeply meaningful for anyone at risk of burnout or compassion fatigue. I can’t recommend it enough! If I could give everyone I work with the time and bandwidth to take Thrive, I would.
  • CourageWorks by Brene Brown: If you’re not already a Brene Brown follower, you soon will be. These online offerings helped me understand the science behind and the potential impact of self-compassion, courage, and vulnerability in my personal and professional lives.



I started a self-care board, and I’ve found some wonderful tools from colleagues in social work and counseling. Check it out and let me know if you have more pins to add!

Meditation Apps


Have you been through something similar? Are these self-care tools helpful? I’d love to hear what works for you!


Check out other guest posts from Brianna:

5 Relationship Tips for Your Volunteer Program

Advocacy in a Time of Anger


Brianna Doby
 CEO, Positive Rhetoric
 Board member, DOVIA Colorado

As CEO of Positive Rhetoric LLC, I work for the wonderful folks across the country who save lives through donation and transplantation. Additionally, I provide speech writing services and presentation skills training for leadership and volunteers working in public education and advocacy programs, and proudly serve on the board of DOVIA Colorado. In my spare time, I find joy in loving my family, loving my friends, and drinking a good cup of coffee.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *