Trauma Informed Care, skills and practices, will be more important than ever upon return to classrooms this fall. During this workshop teachers/staff will reflect upon the emotional toll of the past year as well as identify emotional triggers, learn emotional regulation skills, and understand the importance of co-regulation between student and teacher.
Ultimately, the work of self-care happens individually from the inside out. However, caring professionals are more likely to have time and space to attend to their own self care when they work in organizations fluent in the Eight Dimensions of Wellness.
Emotional self-care is grounded in trusting myself as I navigate a daily barrage of unsupported opinions, biases, and prejudices that deny the truth of how I walk through life. Trusting my instincts is a struggle when the stories all around me become louder and more dominant that the story of my being. Immersion in the communities that affirm my experiences and understandings support me in ways that would be impossible in any other form.
Taking action to improve the space in which we live and work are powerful ways to connect to environmental wellness and to improve our overall well-being.
Regardless of how it happened, what is absolutely clear is that attending to spiritual wellness, even when I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, connected me to a sense of purpose. And, connecting to that sense of purpose has helped me figure out what spiritual resources I might have, even though I’ve ignored that dimension of wellness for a long time.
This article is for leaders of caring organizations who work hard to take care of their people. The words and action steps below reflect perspectives and experiences of caring professionals who have generously and kindly shared with me what they have learned about self-care.
Self-care is important, and it is my belief that self-care is a professional responsibility for caring professionals. And, sometimes, a latte—no matter how delicious—isn’t what my body, mind, and heart wants or needs. If you want to practice self-care, but don’t want to practice yoga or eat more vegetables, start with something you want to do. Leave the rest for someone who likes that kind of stuff.
As caring professionals we have outcomes set by others and goals we set for ourselves. Understandably, we want to see some visible evidence that what we are doing matters. However, while working towards goals is important—individually, as a team, and as an organization—what probably matters more are all the small actions, micromoves, we take to make the larger outcome possible.
Every client I work with is a caring professional, or leads an organization of caring professionals. For most of us, serving others and working for social justice gives us purpose and meaning. However, many of us struggle to care for ourselves, often because we either view self-care as selfish, or as a luxury to indulge when the work gets done. I’d like to invite you to consider what might happen if instead we viewed self-care as a professional responsibility.
Self-care is not a luxury to indulge when the work gets done. Caring for ourselves is our duty.