Created for San Luis Valley Health Professionals by The Center for Rural School Health & Education
ABCs of Self-Care
Awareness of one's needs, limits, feelings, and resources
Balance of activities at work, between work and play, and between focusing on self and focusing on others
Connection to oneself, to others, and to something greater than the self
A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term stress and involvement.
Describes a provider's subclinical or clinical signs and symptoms of PTSD that are a result of indirect exposure to trauma experienced by clients, friends, or family members.
"The cost of caring for others in emotional and physical pain.It is characterized by deep physical and emotional exhaustion and a pronounced change in the helper’s ability to feel empathy for their patients, their loved ones and their co-workers"
Health issues including sleep disturbances, headaches, GI issues
Numbing or avoidance
Addictive or compulsive behaviors
Impaired functioning (missing appointments, decreased ability to accomplish daily tasks
Changes in Thinking and Feeling
Feelings of helplessness
Feeling like you have lost control of your life
Feelings of bitterness, cynicism or guilt
Difficulty empathizing with your clients or patients
Changes in Relationships
Decreased intimacy and trust
Distancing or detachment from clients or patients
Feeling overly responsible for clients' or patients' struggles
Changes in Beliefs and Values
Loss of faith or sense of spirituality
Existential despair or loneliness
Dramatic change in fundamental beliefs about the world
Change or loss in values or beliefs about the world
Make a Commitment
YOURSELF & YOUR COMMUNITY
Different things work for different people! It is important to take your current values and identity into consideration when creating a self-care plan. Many individuals of diverse backgrounds have found that engagement in their community, sense of pride in working in their community, and finding meaning in their work to be key components of self-care and protection against secondary trauma.
Develop a regular sleep routine
Hydrate and eat nutritious foods
Take breaks and use your sick time!
Exercise regularly, even if it is just a walk on your lunch break
Turn off your work phone and emails when you are off
Seek out consultation and supervision
Keep a journal
Engage in hobbies outside of work
Engage in reflective and spiritual practices
Develop and foster supportive friendships
Talk to friends and family about how you are doing at work
Write down three things you are grateful for each day
Find things to look forward to
Organizational Protective Factors
Systematic training of all staff members in the organization in trauma-informed care
Training for providers in trauma-specific treatment strategies
Meaningful and supportive supervision from a trauma-informed supervisor
Emotional support from colleagues and professional peers
Developed by Anna Edelman based on an adaptation from existing resources including Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services (SAMSA, 2014), NASMHPD, Reachout,com, and efr.org.