Reasons for Hope: Profiling our National Youth Leaders – Jess Herkes
Our National Youth Leadership Council is a group of passionate young Australians who are dedicated to making positive change for animals, people and the environment. During the COVID-19 crisis, we asked them to share their thoughts, advice, and reflections. Read more below to get inspired learning how our youth leaders take on crisis and give back.
Jess Herkes (NSW Youth Leader)
“My name is Jess and I am passionate about human health, improving the sustainability of the health system and lessening my environmental impact on Earth. My particular passion is mental health, which is why I also volunteer as an ambassador for Beyond Blue and am involved in research with Headspace.
“Social distancing has shifted our ideas of what is ‘normal’. It has become more important than ever to look after our mental health and stay connected to each other. Here are a list of things that I’ve found helpful and have given me reasons for hope:
- Support local business: I try to buy produce from local businesses, which has made me feel more connected to the community (and is a good habit to continue post-pandemic). I’ve also sent friends and family gifts through local online shops, which has allowed me to discover and support some wonderful, ethical local companies.
- Look out for your neighbours: I’ve put letters in elderly neighbours letterboxes letting them know that I can grocery shop for them if they don’t feel comfortable in doing so.
- Stay connected: Organise scheduled Zoom or Skype catch-ups with your family and friends, and check in on how they’re going. Virtual games are great too—we’ve even had a virtual dress-up murder mystery party!
- Practice self-care: Whether it’s snuggling in bed with a cup of tea, reading a good book, baking, going for a walk, knitting or anything in between, take some time out to do something for you. I’ve planted a herb garden, which was a fun, rewarding project that keeps on giving!”
See what Jess is up to on Instagram at @jessherkes.
Want to know more about the NYLC and to get involved? Contact the team on firstname.lastname@example.org