Our Reflection

Credits Indira Cornelio, Alma Uguarte Perez Last Updated 2017-06

This exercise gives participants an opportunity to think about their own self-care practices – specifically, which ones they already do well, which ones they could improve, and which ones they might want to adopt.

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This session was developed for, and should be attributed to, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting resource “Cyberwomen: Holistic Digital Security Training Curriculum for Women Human Rights Defenders” under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International CC BY-SA 4.0 License

Materials to Prepare:

  • Mirrors for each participant
  • Dot stickers
  • Optional: Participants can use a photo of themselves instead of mirror (ask them to bring these ahead of time)

Trainer’s Note

  • Self-care is an essential part of a holistic digital security practice, and is important to consistently reinforce and encourage – it is highly recommended that you distribute exercises related to self-care throughout your training.
  • To create an environment that encourages relaxation and introspection, you may light some candles, burn some incense, or play some soft, soothing music during this exercise.

Running the Exercise:

Step 1 | Give each participant a small mirror, or if not using mirrors, ask them to take out their photos of themselves. Hand out the dot stickers.

Step 2 | Explain that you will read a series of statements, which participants should answer either “Yes” or “No” for themselves. For each time they answer “No” to a statement, they should place a dot sticker on the mirror or on their photo.

Step 3 | Below is a list of example statements that you can during this exercise; however, based on what you know about the group (and how comfortable the individual participants are with one another) you can add additional statements, or avoid certain ones:

  • Every night, I get at least 8 hours of sleep and wake up feeling rested and ready to start the day;
  • During the last six months / one year, I have had the option of taking a vacation available to me and have taken one;
  • I have a healthy diet and make the effort to exercise regularly, to keep my body and mind in balance;
  • I always find a little time for myself to read, to sleep, or to spend time with my friends and family;
  • Whenever I get sick, I take days off to recover and concentrate on getting better, not on my work;
  • Whenever I am overloaded, I always say no to offers of additional work;
  • I get my semiannual gynecological exams as recommended;
  • I take time to clarify and resolve misunderstandings with loved ones or work colleagues when any conflicts arise;
  • I keep an 8-hour per day work schedule, which both myself and my organization respect;

Step 4 | When you finish with the questions, ask participants - What do they see in the mirror (or on their photos)? Bring the group together in a circle to discuss the effects that can excessive work burdens, poor social practices at work, or insufficient care for body and mind can have on individuals, blurring out their essence and obscuring who they really are at heart.

Step 5 | Go around the circle and ask whoever feels comfortable doing so to set an intention – that intention should be to begin taking better care of themselves by doing one of the self-care activities mentioned earlier more regularly.