Helping others puts you in direct contact with other peoples lives. The compassion for those you help has both positive and negative effects on your life. Some people become so involved in their clients lives that they neglect themselves and begin to suffer emotionally and physically. Obviously this is very unhealthy and not sustainable.
No normal person can remain unaffected when dealing with victims of abuse on a daily basis. As such, all caregivers and trauma workers need to look after themselves if they are to keep helping others.
Following are some tips for self-nurturance and care:
- Get supervision from someone who understands the dynamics of victim trauma and its impact.
- Clarify your own sense of purpose and meaning in life.
- Identify your own personal and social resources and support system and then plan strategies for their use.
- Diversify your interests to include balance and introduce variety to your life.
- Play – fun and laughter is good medicine for anyone!
- Be creative.
- Develop your spiritual side as a grounding tool.
- Take care of yourself physically – eat healthily and exercise.
- Develop personal rituals to ensure safety and empowerment.
- Modify your work schedule to fit your life.
- Get therapy for personal issues and identify triggers.
- Know your limitations and levels of tolerance.
- Spend time with nature.
- Music is therapeutic and healing.
There are other tips for self-nurturance and care. It is also important to know and understand the various ways in which you can be affected by caring for others.