Check-in and Check-up for Helping Professionals

Check-in and Check-up for Helping Professionals

09/16/21 Laura Gibbons

Helping professionals are not immune to life’s events and challenges. For possibly the first time, helping professionals are going through a collective experience alongside their clients, patients, students, or those they care for during this global pandemic. It is not unlikely that helping professionals are experiencing similar challenges to those they serve when it comes to how this last year and a half has impacted our personal and professional lives.

So how do we ensure that we hold up our overall health and well-being as a priority, especially during these unprecedented times?

First, start with a self-inventory.
What are your stressors and stress symptoms? Are you managing your stressors or are they managing you? How is this impacting you at work and at home?
Remember: It is important to do regular check-ins with yourself on how well you are functioning.

Second, acknowledge possible pit-falls to self-care.
A potential work hazard for a helping professional is that they tend to naturally put others first, and often themselves last. This can deplete one’s overall energy. When our energy supply is low, we need to know how to effectively refuel.
: We can’t run on empty and still provide quality care to those we serve or be present for those people and things that are important to us.

Although we are trained to guide and help others, we don’t always practice what we preach. It is important to eliminate barriers that may get in the way of our own self-care. Telling yourself you don’t have time, setting unrealistic expectations, and accepting that things will simply stay the same are not constructive to prioritizing self-care.
Remember: Self-care does not have to feel daunting and can begin with just one small step. These small steps often have the biggest impact.

“I shouldn’t have to ask for help.”  Helping professionals often think they should be able to handle things themselves, but it becomes more challenging when overwhelmed. This makes it harder to access one’s resources or create helpful strategies. Counseling can be part of a healthy self-care routine that provides you a space focused on your needs and goals for optimal functioning.
Remember: The nature of helping industries can place those workers at a higher risk for emotional distress. Give yourself permission to seek assistance from another professional and prioritize your overall health and well-being.

Third, create a self-care strategy. The EAP can help.
Take a proactive (not reactive) approach. Creating a self-care strategy will help you maintain a routine that focuses on a positive, productive, and healthy self. Don’t wait for the proverbial emergency distress signal. It is important to take action during early signs of stress to prevent moving down the continuum toward distress. If you are struggling to empathize, maintain healthy boundaries, or are feeling the symptoms of compassion fatigue or burnout, don’t delay action.
Remember: Utilizing  the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a positive and proactive step to developing strategies that will help you function at your best at work and at home. Check-in and check-up with the EAP.

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