Stress Relieving Techniques During a Busy Grant Writing Season

Grant Writing Tips and Best Practices
Stress Relieving Techniques During a Busy Grant Writing Season

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Stress Relieving Techniques During a Busy Grant Writing Season

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Stress Relieving Techniques During a Busy Grant Writing Season…


..or Why 2pm Chocolate is a Healthy Professional Coping Mechanism


We all know that in the midst of a busy grant season it’s important to keep self-care in mind, but we also know that this is typically the first thing to come off of our “to do list”. When deadlines are looming, self -care can be replaced with late nights and responding to the grant’s needs before your needs. Here are 8 easy, relatively quick  ideas to do a bit of self-care in while still meeting your deadline:

  1. Schedule a workout into your daily schedule. Get your endorphins flowing, reduce your stress level and get away from your desk for a bit. For more details on the benefits, check out:
  2. Ease up on the caffeine and ease into music. Spotify, Pandora, YouTube or any of these free streaming music site can be the soundtrack to a great grant as well as a relaxing experience:
  3. Stress relieving sites on the web. Here’s a compilation of relaxing sites to help you find your inner calm: I found the 2-minute break site a great way to refresh and rejuvenate during a busy day.

4. Schedule a day off. During a particularly busy grant writing season my spouse suggested we take a family day and head to an amusement park. My initial reaction was that I was too busy and couldn’t swing it. But I relented and after 2 trips on an epic rollercoaster I found the fun of screaming my head off cathartic and was relaxed, refreshed and much more productive after a day away from my computer.

5. Identify a task, at home or at work, that you can complete and which you enjoy. Could be baking (procrastibaking?!), gardening, making art, completing a home repair project. Find something that has a discrete and relatively easily attainable completion time. This will satiate your need for closure during a time when there is a stressful deadline looming.

6. Laughter. Take a break and watch a couple of clips of your favorite comedian, watch a couple of Saturday Night Live sketches, or my favorite new favorite the Canadian comedy show Just for Laughs:

7. Change your venue. Changing your writing location to a coffee shop, a library, another office can help give you renewed energy and a new perspective on what you are writing.

8. 2 pm Chocolate. During our recent busy grant writing season, we rented an office in a building with a number of law offices. As a way of getting to know our new work neighbors and a fun afternoon break, we instituted a tradition of 2 pm chocolate. Every day at 2 pm we’d gather for 5 minutes, partake in some chocolate and talk about non-grant writing topics.


Here’s to a stress-free grant writing season filled with good music, laughter, and 2 pm chocolate.

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About The Author
Amy has worked with and for nonprofits for over 20 years as a practitioner, researcher and consultant. She oversees the creative direction at Finch Network as well as business development. Amy has worked with local, regional and national organizations including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Corporation for National and Community Service and United Way of Tompkins County. She specializes in program planning, fund development and qualitative research. Notable projects include a fellowship she completed for the Corporation for National Service where she conducted an evaluation of program sustainability of AmeriCorps*VISTA projects, coordinating an allocation process that invested $1.3 million dollars annually to health and human service nonprofits in Tompkins County and leading the qualitative research portion for two evaluations conducted for City Harvest. Amy has a strong commitment to her own community and volunteers with her local Foster Care program, Plattsburgh Community Garden and in Plattsburgh City Schools. Amy holds a B.A. in American Studies and a teaching certificate from the University of Rochester and a graduate degree in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.

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