Try these Self-Care Tips from our Staff

Try these Self-Care Tips from our Staff

Enjoy this summary of the self-care tips from our staff for Activist Appreciation Month, including new bonus tips! Looking for more? Call, text, or email us at (800) 705-0425,

As Operations Manager for In Defense of Animals Hope Animal Sanctuary, I am exposed to abuse and neglect of animals on a daily basis. The pain and suffering that my colleagues and I are exposed to takes a heavy toll. Abuse and neglect never take a day off, a vacation, or a holiday and so I rarely take time off either. My days are long since animals in need do not keep regular hours. For me, taking pictures of the animals we save so they are able to find loving guardians rejuvenates me and allows me to move forward. The support of friends in rescue is of paramount importance and helps me realize I am not alone in this fight.

Sharon Stone
Operations Manager-Hope Animal Sanctuary


It can be hard to relax when your work involves an issue that you care about so deeply. Sometimes you can work yourself sick, because you want make the most of every opportunity to help animals. But the truth is, you can’t help anyone, including animals, unless you also take care of yourself. One thing that helps me unwind, is making time for at least one unrelated activity each week, and making it a routine. For me, it’s a ballet class, which brings a great deal of joy into my life (plus exercise, that I actually look forward to). 

Nadia Schilling
Farmed Animals Campaign Director


In my work as Communications Director for IDA, I have to review a lot of very graphic media depicting animal abuse. Recently I watched a video of a little dog being doused with petrol and set aflame. It is so hard knowing I can do little for this individual in her final moments of undeserved agony. Taking care of yourself as an animal activist is so important. One of my favorite ways to take care of myself is talking to like-minded friends.

Fleur Dawes
Communications Director


Dealing with cruelty on a regular basis can be quite unbearable at times. But working with animals at our centers for the last two decades has helped immensely.  Every visit reminds me that we have been instrumental in so very many rescues, adoptions and rehabilitations. The center itself is full of people who love animals, from our staff to visitors who love to spend time here. The atmosphere itself is so healing and pleasant. I take good care of my health and well being by practicing yoga and going almost vegan. These self-care tools help me to remain fit, strong and ready for tomorrow!

Ms. Vivienne Choudhury
President and Trustee, IDA India


As the dog meat campaign director, I am constantly exposed to graphic images and videos showing the torture of the dogs; however, it is the agonizing cries of the dogs that pierce the heart the most. It is important to have activist friends so they can relate and help share the burden;  It is also important to have non-activist friends so you can forget about the horror.  The most valuable thing I can do for myself as an activist is to remember to enjoy life and laugh because the key to everything is balance.

Kiana Kang
Ditch Dog Meat Campaign Director


As Operations Director for In Defense of Animals Hope Animal Sanctuary, I am exposed to abuse and neglect of animals on a daily basis. The pain and suffering that we see takes a heavy toll.  My days are long since animals in need do not keep regular hours. Spending time with these fur babies and making sure that they are comfortable and loved allows me to move forward. Also at the end of the day spending time with my fur babies and my family gives me time to unwind and relax.

Debbie J. Clark
Operations Director, Hope Animal Sanctuary


As the Elephant, Dolphin, and Whale Scientist and Campaigns Director for IDA, my work requires me to both witness and to mitigate the threats facing the these beautiful beings. Sometimes it seems overwhelming, especially when the science actually exists to empirically demonstrate the suffering of other animals. So many aspects of our cultures, politics and polices are deeply entrenched and outdated, apparently ignorant of the science. Working with such a collaborative team at IDA and other inspirational colleagues keeps my spirits up. When facing a big loss for the elephants or the dolphins and whales, I am reminded of the cumulative positive impact of our efforts, and focus on the picture that is far bigger than any of us. That big picture, and the larger interspecies community in which we live, is always worth thriving and striving for.

Toni Frohoff, Ph.D.
Elephant & Cetacean Scientist


My activist self care tips include daily physical exercises, 8 hours of sleep a night, a vegan lifestyle as well as reviewing and sharing the profound statements, wisdom and lives of those courageous and compassionate individuals who have gone before us, who inspired and continue to inspire and motivate me and millions of others to never ever give up their/our fight on behalf of our fellow less fortunate beings, human and nonhuman alike; individuals such as St. Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez, to name but a few. Not to mention my Facebook friends and the deeply caring individuals who are doing all they can to see that the cancer of “animal ownership” and all the exploitations, cruelties, killings and abandonments that are associated with it become things of the past. And of course the past and present staff, board and supporters of IDA, to whom I and our animal friends owe such a depth of gratitude; and lest I forget my other three sources of inspiration to be the best I can be for the longest time I can be, for they are my daughters Raquel and Danielle and my grandson Jackson. 

Elliot M. Katz, DVM
Founder and President Emeritus, In Defense of Animals 
Coordinator, Animal Guardian Initiative 


Bonus Self-Care Tips 

Believe it or not, animal work itself is a stress buster for me as my personal life is very stressful. I do get depressed sometimes when I work on cruelty cases here, but overall animal work is where my heart is. It is very satisfying and makes my life worth living. For me, it is not work as in a traditional “job.” I consider it my moral duty. Doing what feels right is good for the heart and the soul. There is fatigue, but never stress.

Ms. Sarita Raturi
Overseas Trustee, IDA India 

For me, animal welfare is 24 x 7. I am available for coordinating rescues, adoptions and foster care all the time. Yes, there are stressful days when I end up crying to myself. Allowing myself the space to cry and grieve is relieving since it helps me relax and regain inner strength. Being with the animals I love really helps. I enjoy having their wet noses, wagging tails and paws all over me. When our efforts to help them work, I feel energized and full of gratitude. My rescue cat Timtim is also a great stress-buster for me!

Priya Grover
Trustee and Volunteer, IDA India

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