The Importance of Caregiver Capacity

What am I like? There is a process when it comes to self-discovery, and it leads to knowledge of self. Blind spots in your knowledge of yourself can lead to negative consequences in your life, and those of the people you work with. We are all human beings, and we all need to remember that in our line of work every day.

We serve children and families in times of great stress, so it is very important that, to help them, we care for ourselves – regularly.

Shannon King
Shannon King

It is important to ensure that we get enough rest daily, we are eating healthy at least three times a day and that we exercise or use coping mechanisms to make it through peaks of stress in our normal lives. If one of our employees were to faint at their desk due to not eating or drinking, we are all affected. It’s important to care for your health as well as to check on your teammates’ by simply asking, “Have you eaten today?” or possibly offering a snack or TV dinner of your own.

We are, unintentionally, affected by our clients’ exposures, exposures in trainings, and witnessing neglect and abuse toward our clients. We, as human beings, have to remember that we are human and need to have knowledge of ourselves at all times.

This can relate to what we can and can’t handle, our triggers, anxiety, managing a normal heart rate, etc. It is important to maintain doctor visits and know about your body and its limits, if any. We have to take care of ourselves 100% percent first in order to care for our clients and their priorities.

We know that we are providing trauma-informed services when we remain vigilant to signs of secondary traumatic stress in our own lives and consistently take steps to manage our personal and professional stress effectively.

I heard someone say in a discussion one day, that, “There is an invisible killer; it’s called stress.” It’s up to you on how you plan to manage your stress throughout your daily life.

Know thyself!

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2 Responses to The Importance of Caregiver Capacity

  1. Samantha Wilson says:

    Hello Shannon! Thank you for your thoughtful engagement during my presentation yesterday on caring for the professional self! I appreciated your insights and willingness to share with the group SaintAs efforts in this regard! (Im glad you referenced the blog in your eval form so I could find it!) Maybe I will see you at the fundraising event on 11/10/15.

    Warmly, Samantha

    • Shannon King says:

      Thank you for taking the time to read the article. I’m happy that I attended your workshop on Supporting the Professional Self: Managing Stress and Secondary Trauma in Child Welfare Work. Find your “safe place”…ahhh 🙂 We must be serious when it comes to caring for ourselves in order to be the best at our professions each day for others. Until next time, take care of yourself.

      Best wishes,

      Shannon

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