The PACEs Connection team will be taking a week of rest following the Labor Day holiday on September 6. We will be out of the office from September 7-10. We will not be checking or responding to emails or calls. We will not be publishing the Daily Digests and Weekly Roundup during this time.
Although the field of positive and adverse childhood experiences has always been a stressful one in which to work, we have been feeling especially overwhelmed lately. Our capacity for feeling, both positive and negative, has been maxed out, whether the emotions are fear, anger, hopelessness, compassion, or empathy. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the emerging societal and media realization and reckoning of the racial violence and discrimination that has been a part of America since its foundation, and the impending and current climate catastrophes including the extreme fires and drought in California, where many of our staff reside, are all contributing stressors.
As a trauma-informed organization, it is important for us to lead by example. We believe that regular rest is essential in our field of work and is especially important now, in particular as there seems to be no respite in sight from COVID-19. After we had such hope that the vaccine would bring relief, the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past few weeks have been devastating to our collective mental health.
Taking a whole team break will reduce stress for individuals since we won’t be thinking about all of the emails, tasks, and projects piling up. The collective pause means the work train is stopping until we all get back on it again together.
We invite you to explore the idea of collective care by Lisa Chamberlain and of The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture by Tema Okun. Collective care shifts the onus of mental health hygiene away from the individual and towards the organization. This aligns with what we know about the social determinants of health. White supremacy culture demands that we stay busy, maintain a sense of urgency, and value quantity over quality, among other demands. These characteristics ultimately perpetuate the patriarchal, colonial, and unregulated capitalist systems that can and have historically dehumanized people. Some people have been especially impacted based on delineations made by race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, or religion.
Thanks so much for honoring our week of rest. We have been inspired by other organizations to make this choice, and we hope we inspire some of you to make the same commitment to the health of your people, organizations, and communities.