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Navigating the world when your brain just doesn’t feel like it: How one YNPNer juggles work and mental health

*Disclaimer: This blog post represents the views and experiences of the author only. It is in no way an attempt to diagnose or treat!

main.jpgA day doesn’t go by where my purse isn’t fully stocked with either ginger candies or ginger mints – they are my go-to when I start to feel sick and my anxiety skyrockets. My dad’s phone is always on loud and right by his bed – he wakes up really early, which is usually when my panic attacks come on, so he wants to make sure he hears his phone if I call needing help. I just bought a super plush mattress topper – I don’t sleep much at night (regardless of comfort level), but for the days when I can’t muster the energy to get out of bed, it’s a lifesaver.

My story is like so many others – although my combo may be different, I happen to suffer from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and emetophobia (a phobia of throwing up – who knew that was a thing?). Mental health affects so many, and I can’t imagine our sector is any different. And with many of our jobs requiring multiple hats, long hours, and tight deadlines, stress can only exacerbate it.

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We couldn't do a #gtmd16 without gifs

Give to the Max Day is November 17, 2016!

Let me share a few gifs about how I feel about YNPN Twin Cities members:

Our goal is to have 100 people to donate to YNPN Twin Cities on #GTMD16. Will you be one of them?

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YNPN Twin Cities: You are valued. You are welcome here, just as you are.

At YNPN Twin Cities, our values are to strive for respect and inclusiveness, to seek opportunities to collaborate, and to respond to the evolving needs of our community. YNPN Twin Cities has always and will continue to stand in solidarity with all of our members. It should go without saying, but hate, discrimination, racism and sexism is never acceptable and will not be tolerated by YNPN Twin Cities.

This election has caused a wide range of feelings and reactions by our members, our community and our nation, including shock, fear, grief, anger, and a loss of justice. We validate and respect those feelings. Self-care is hard in nonprofit work, and we encourage you to take care of yourself now more than ever, whatever that looks like.

To all of our members, the Twin Cities community, and our peers across the country: We see you. You are valued. We believe you. You are welcome here, just as you are. You are loved.

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Be a contender: Mental illness recovery & your resume

main2.jpgAs a person who has healed from four severe mental illnesses and a blooming young professional, I believe in acknowledging the whole of my experience. I bring it up during all of my interviews because I don’t want to work for people who stigmatize my uniquely acquired knowledge base. Mentally ill Americans are one in five, about as common as brown eyes.

If you’ve started looking for help, excellent–you’re among 50% of the mentally ill population. More people have a Facebook account right now. Before you’ve even gotten into the therapy room, you’re already an amazing human being. Why not heal and use the awesome skills that come from this journey to get a job that matches your worth? Let’s get down to business and frame those core competencies.

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Dear Giacomo: I'm too busy

Nonprofit master Giacomo Crostini is here to answer all your burning questions about life in the nonprofit sector. Email him at info@ynpntwincities.org for advice and guidance.
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giacomo.jpgDear Giacomo,

Holy moly! I’ve been noticing lately that when people ask me how I’m doing, my answer is almost always…”busy!” I’ve got so much on my plate these days that I’m having a hard time managing it and need some tips and tricks!

Sincerely,
Busy & Underwater. Today & Tomorrow Stressed
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Member Spotlight | Tyrai Ross

tyrai.jpgWe know it’s nearly impossible to get to know all the young professionals in our vast network, which is why we shine the spotlight on one person who is making an especially significant impact in their field. Hearing other people’s experiences and perspectives gives us a chance to learn, grow, and shape the nonprofit sector of tomorrow.

In that spirit, we introduce to you Tyrai Ross, Metro Program Manager at Reading and Math Inc. and winner of the 2016 Catalytic Leader Award, presented by Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Tyrai and her colleagues work with schools, school districts, and nonprofits to train and place AmeriCorps fellows where they’re needed most. They bring research-based math and reading strategies for pre-K to 8th grade students. Disadvantaged adults can get training, credentialing, and education to help them in their quest for a living wage job.

 

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Take the YNPN-TC Member Survey!

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TAKE THE SURVEY >>

YNPN-TC wouldn't be what it is without all of our wonderful members like you. 

Tell us what your experience with YNPN-TC has been, and what we can do to make it even better. After all, we aim to be your hook up for development & networking opportunities tooled specifically for young nonprofit professionals like yourself.

So let us know how we’re doing. 

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5 blogs for nonprofit leaders (without "nonprofit" in the title)

main2.jpgIf you are like me, you love to find that perfect article to get your day started. And maybe another one during your morning coffee… and then perhaps another one during lunch. A great article can give you that boost to deal with that question about your career path, the tough situation at work, or even just to get through the day. The best thing though is to find a blog that consistently motivates you AND gives you awesome information that can help you rock in your role as a nonprofit leader! 

I've decided to share with you my top five nonprofit & social impact blogs. They jump across a variety of issues, from HR, to strategic planning, to board leadership. Some are written by big organizations and some by a handful dedicated contributors. Oh, and none have "nonprofit" in their name—can't make it too easy!

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Shimmy and swim to confidence

Speak Up. Don't Speak Up. Be Assertive. Raise Your Hand. Calm Down. Interrupt. Be Nice. Don't Be Intimidating. Don't Be Angry. Calm Down. Stop Shouting. Dress Respectably. Be Confident.Every person at the latest Pollen Work Redux event about Confidence was beautiful. I mean this in the sense that the folks attending were projecting a seriously genuine aura of belief in themselves, support, and kindness, and it was absolutely amazing to be in a room with 250 other women with that kind of vibe.

This is true of every event I go to in this series focusing on bringing together “women spanning diverse backgrounds to reimagine the future of the workplace.” Unfortunately, there’s no space large enough for every woman in the Twin Cities to simultaneously experience a Work Redux event, so this blog is my little part to share the message far and wide – women are in the workplace and, in the words of Pollen’s Jamie Millard, we have a crisis of confidence, but together we are going to totally rock the world.

Pollen's Work Redux events embody what Nancy Lyons of Clockwork (and one of the panelists) advised – “As leaders, we make room for people to come exactly as they are.” Outside of our jobs, we have families, passions, hobbies.  We are activists and artists, naturalists and explorers. We can’t leave our worries, our mental and physical illnesses, or our insecurities at the door. We are whole people, and accepting a whole person in a space – especially a work place – can bring so much to the table. How we accomplish this can look really different, depending on the space.

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Does your boss have your back?

main4.jpgLife in the nonprofit sector is challenging. The pay is often low, the challenges are high, and burnout is a real and serious concern. Many people come to YNPN looking for insight about how to succeed in this challenging field. Proactive workers looking for ways to excel can have an especially difficult time accepting that they don’t have total control over their own destiny in an organization. The reality is that your boss or supervisor holds the keys to a prosperous or painful path, and they need to want you to succeed if you’re to shine.

As the person who dictates your duties, evaluates your performance, and has the final say on whether to pursue the ideas and projects you propose, your boss is a critical figure in your professional life. It benefits you to do what you can to encourage a positive relationship. But sometimes it can feel like you’re on different teams, despite both of you working for the same organization with the same mission.

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info@ynpntwincities.org

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Our mission, vision and values guide all that we do at the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities (YNPN-TC).

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