Section 2: PREVENTIONModule 12: Self-care for violence prevention helpers Respect Aging:Preventing Violence against Older Persons Violence Prevention Initiative
Agenda • Welcome • Learning together: • Self-care for violence-prevention helpers • Small group activity • Reporting back to whole group • Wrap-up / Evaluation
Stress • The body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response.
Burnout • A state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion caused by extreme and prolonged stress.
Vicarious trauma • The negative changes that happen to helping professionals, volunteers and others over time that result from empathetic dealings with clients and victims and hearing or seeing their traumatic experiences.
Vicarious trauma • Happens when a helper "catches" the trauma of those being helped • Repeated exposure to suffering • Desire to help/change the situation • Happens because you care
Self-care • Be aware of our own thoughts and behaviours • Reflect on our beliefs, values and assumptions • Share our vulnerability with people who support us
Stress, burnout and vicarious trauma • Everyone responds differently • Warning signs: • Physical/emotional/spiritual changes • Changes in relationships • Consider seeking help
Recognizing stress, burnout and/or vicarious trauma You may experience changes in: • How you see yourself and the world • Your emotional beliefs and needs • Self-care and behaviour • Relationships • Beliefs about spirituality, meaning, purpose
Changes in how you see yourself and the world • Not a good or safe place • Questioning effectiveness • Feel little satisfaction • Survivor guilt • Preoccupied with troubling questions
Changes in emotional needs • Safety • Trust • Boundaries • Making decisions • Obsessive thoughts
Psychological and physiological changes • Sleep difficulties • Not bathing or washing clothes • Difficulty concentrating • No sense of humour • No appetite / eating too much • Irritable, intolerant, moody • Addictions, substance abuse
Changes in relationships • Disconnected • Conflicts • Less social contact • No upsetting stories! • Intimacy issues
Changes in beliefs about spirituality, meaning, purpose • Loss of meaning, purpose • Loss of hope • Despair • No wonder, gratitude, joy • Troubling questions
ABCs of positive self-care A – Awareness B - Balance C - Connection
Awareness • Take time to self-reflect • Journal-writing • Therapy • Talking to friend • What else?
Balance • Balance awareness with action • How much time do you spend working? playing? resting? • Balance work with rest of life
Connection • Connecting with meaning • Connect to others • Connecting to that “something more” beyond ourselves: • Nature • Faith • Poetry • Humanity • What else?
Coping strategies for self-care • Find your own path to renewal • Revisit your path • Your path will be unique • Your plan will change