The Avodah Blog

Taking Charge of Self-Care

By: Ilana Krakowski

This piece originally appeared at N Street Village here.

When you think you can’t do something, you often realize that you can.” These are the words of N Street Village resident, Debra Green. As a senior peer and Wellness Center receptionist, Debra fills various leadership roles. This month, Debra took on another responsibility– educating those who walk through the Wellness Center about self-care.

Every month the Wellness Center features information about a health topic on its main bulletin board. The Wellness Center’s receptionist team takes turns researching and presenting material for the board. Past topics focused on breast cancer awareness, diet and nutrition, sleep apnea, diabetes, and dementia. For October, Debra created a board focusing on of self-care.

Debra presented tips on both physical and mental healthcare, offering advice on balanced diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, smoking cessation, hydration, creative expression, and helping others. Debra’s board is not only informative — its vibrant colors, photos, and user-friendly layout draw in anyone who passes by.

Debra Green
Debra proudly stands next to her completed bulletin board.

The board is not only a professional success — it also serves as a testament to Debra’s personal successes. Since arriving at N Street Village, Debra’s dedication to self-care has grown immensely. She started maintaining her physical health through better nutrition and weight loss and staying on top of her doctor appointments. She also took on professional and recreational goals in addition to volunteering her time to help other women at N Street Village. Debra felt it was important to create a board on self-care in order to inspire others to take care of themselves holistically like she does.

Organizing the bulletin board was something new to Debra. When first asked to make the board, she thought she couldn’t. With motivation and calm persistence, Debra worked with me to research self-care topics and condense them into several tips. Our joint research efforts helped Debra understand the preparation process in a lesson plan as well as how to make information accessible. Debra had all the ideas; she just had to overcome the initial hesitation in starting a new project.

It was a pleasure to watch Debra create her first educational board and to see her pride as she passes the board every day. Debra is now excited to do another…and another. She now has even more proof that she can achieve what she sets her mind to.

I too, was touched by Debra’s growth. Debra taught me that having courage can develop self-confidence and in turn, having self-confidence can make one courageous.

I encourage you to visit the Wellness Center to see Debra’s self-care board!

Ilana Krakowski, from Brooklyn, NY, attended Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary – List College. As a DC Corps member, she is the Wellness Center Program Assistant at N Street Village, which helps women move from homelessness to independent living and deal with issues of substance abuse and mental illness through day and residential programs.

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