“We humans have lost the wisdom of genuinely resting and relaxing. We worry too much. We don’t allow our bodies to heal, and we don’t allow our minds and hearts to heal.” ~Thích Nhất Hạnh
In a world that values productivity over people, it is so important to remember that we were not made to do it all. Rest is viewed as something to be earned, only acceptable once you are burnt out and at your breaking point.
As an organization, it’s one of our goals to make sure we are intentional about rest. Our staff participates in “Rest and Learning,” which is a time in the summer when each team shuts down for at least two weeks. Staff are encouraged to truly rest, to provide time and space for themselves to reflect on the year that has passed and re-energize for the year to come.
Rest and Learning is Equitable
Rest and Learning is a robust CORRAL business practice and is designed from an HR perspective as a strategic advantage. The point is to not burn through people like they are replaceable machines, but to instill equitable business practices that creates sustainability and longevity. Often overlooked in the nonprofit world, rest leads to higher productivity in the long run.
Nonprofits are often confronted with high expectations and significant pressure to succeed from many angles. To protect the quality or scope of services, internal costs, including PTO and employee salaries, are often cut. But, nonprofit employees are passionate about their work, which makes them more willing to push through workplace stress until they burn out. On top of that, women in nonprofit industries who are juggling the work/life balance are still expected to fulfill antiquated gender roles at home while working their way to leadership roles, often at a pay gap, compared to men with equal credentials and experience. Women of color take an even bigger hit.
Access and Opportunities at CORRAL
Our mission is to provide access and opportunities to the marginalized girls in our community. Most of their families do not have the option to take a few weeks off work and rest. They work hourly jobs that don’t provide paid time off. Vacation and leisure time is a luxury few of them can afford. The cherry on top? Often they are told “you’re just lazy” or “if you had a better job maybe you could earn a vacation.” But, what people don’t (or choose not to) see is that many of the jobs our families do are essential, frontline functions. They enable the rest of us to live our lives in the way to which we are accustomed. They are nurse practitioners, grocery clerks, mail men and women. They are critical members of our society who deserve rest, too.
In the best way we can, CORRAL works to provide access to our girls, so they can reach for the dream jobs that do offer equitable benefits. And, we encourage our girls to take intentional and scheduled rest in their daily contracts. They can take a walk, visit their horses, jump on the trampoline, or even simply take a moment to close their eyes. For our girls, those break times are not about productivity—they are about honoring yourself and what you need.