I attended a training for suicide prevention over the weekend, and wow was it insightful! I not only learned about local resources available for our communities, but we also explored ways to manage residual emotions. This is super relevant to those of us who work in the advocacy space. We often encounter clients who are experiencing high levels of stress, trauma, and heavy emotional tolls.
Without tools for resiliency to implement into our own routines, we can easily feel the weight of taking on the emotions and feelings of others. I’m understanding that I am an empath to the core, while also learning to express my empathy in positive and impactful ways. However, it’s only been recently I’ve started to realize that with this gift also comes deep feels. Vulnerability and connection is an underlying, necessary theme in the advocacy space. I cannot shy away from it, even out of fear of tears or appearing weak, but instead I need to learn how to manage the difficult emotions within me so I may better serve others.
In the training we explored aspects of wellness to build personal resiliency by reviewing seven elements of self-care:
- Physical – care of the body through healthy actions
- Mental – reduce mental chatter, build mindfulness
- Emotional – connect with and process emotions; cope with difficult feelings
- Spiritual – seek activities that foster a sense of purpose and build meaning
- Social – spend meaningful time with others
- Environmental – improve conditions; create peaceful, happy surroundings
- Educational/Occupational – explore and maintain balance in pursuits
Building mindfulness struck me – how do we encourage others to be mindful while navigating trauma? Trauma-brain is real and debilitating, and yet we expect common sense, judgment and courage from those experiencing acute trauma. We must shift this mindset so we learn to appropriately, kindly and compassionately work with survivors of abuse and trauma. Mindfulness is not an easy state but if we as advocates can establish routines and boundaries to maintain our own mental stability, we may be able to impact those around us who may not be at a place to sharpen that tool (yet).
How do you practice mindfulness?
How do you positively impact those you work with and those you serve to encourage reducing the mental chatter and negative self-talk?
I’d love to hear from you about this…drop a comment on this blog post or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org