Hooked on social change since learning how messed up our planet is (at UNC-CH), Susan Comfort spent nearly three decades in the nonprofit trenches, raising many millions, directing field on political campaigns, serving on boards, and developing advocates and leaders. Now she practices organizational development with leaders from nonprofit, government, and corporate sectors. She also directs the Nonprofit Wellness Pilot: more at www.NonprofitWellness.org
Susan learned self-care to stay sane as a working parent. Unfortunately, she has witnessed too many people teetering on the edge of burnout over the years.
We neglect physical health by cutting corners on food, not making time to exercise, and getting insufficient rest. Our mental health is compromised by so many things: workplace drama, financial insecurity, intoxicants, depression, lack of spirituality/gratitude, inauthenticity, and insecurity.
Combine that with the inevitable personal battles -- fighting illness, divorce, parenting kids, caring for sick pets/parents, financial insecurity ... the list goes on. This all takes its toll over the years and is causing burnout and retention problems in both nonprofit and corporate worlds.
The good news is, these things are address-able. Sometimes even fix-able. Adopting behaviors that promote physical and mental health takes going outside one's comfort zone. But the rewards -- greater vitality, joy and productivity -- are worth it.
Personally, Susan embraces laughter, dancing, yoga, nutrition, pet love and caffeine as core strategies for wellness. With some slogging (slow jogging), circus arts, mindfulness, and healthy cooking projects on the side.
Among Susan's proudest accomplishments: leading 16 week-long Campus Green Vote, Environmental Justice and Environmental Journalism training academies for college students, overseeing EWG.org's massive list-growth, working at BoardSource, and bringing play to kids via Playworks and KaBOOM! See the archived Washington Post live chat with Susan on "Benefits of Recess." or Susan's Social Velocity interview.
Susan is a proud Baltimore native and spent many summers as a crabhouse server (even after becoming vegetarian). She earned Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Communications, served as a leader with the Student Environmental Action Coalition, and had the privilege of being a men's basketball statistician at UNC-Chapel Hill. Currently, Susan is enrolled in Georgetown's Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership program. She is a graduate of many training experiences including Green Corps, Midwest Academy, Rockwood Institute, Dismantling Racism, Landmark Education, Circus Yoga and Anusara Yoga Teacher Training. She considers 15+ years birthing and raising two amazing humans her most intensive educational experience and most joyful endeavor.