Hey, what to say, I can’t believe we’re finally here, launching SelfCare Psychology to you guys and bringing our work to life.
I’ll be brief as to how I got here as I’ve been blogging about SelfCare for a while after writing my MSc research project. A subject close to my heart, listening to how those supporting survivors and victims of domestic violence experience listening to trauma. I got a lot more than I bargained for.
I learned about the profound impact that hearing trauma had on my participants, personally and professionally.
I learned that for my participants there wasn’t enough education during training, or support for them as professionals when they entered roles like Social Workers, Counsellors and Specialist Domestic Violence Advocates.
I listened to stories of burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and stress and that in reality they are common place, but largely undetected by the professionals themselves.
Listening to truly committed and passionate professionals tell me how they struggled to even listen to their clients, answer a phone or spend time with their loved ones was heart-breaking and sobering, even more so, as they had entered these roles to make a difference to others, but ended up breaking themselves.
The light bulb moment however was listening to how they had found ways to overcome this, and this was predominantly about learning to look after themselves, emotionally and physically through, you guessed it, SelfCare!
SelfCare doesn’t have to be expensive, it is a culture that needs to be embedded everywhere, and absolutely for those who spend their lives supporting others.
I now work as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice. I also train around SelfCare, encouraging Social Workers and other caring professions to consider their needs.
Not instead of their family, friends, colleagues and clients, but as well as.
So why SelfCare Psychology? Ironically whilst writing up my research I broke a bit, nothing serious but I went down with a nasty chest infection. The other irony was that I didn’t see it coming, my family did, and thank goodness they did. I rested up for a few days and then carried on, but this niggling concern that others might notice us falling down before we did wouldn’t leave me.
So, this is our answer, a blummin brilliant blog, spreading the word, providing experience from those who know how much SelfCare can make a difference, but as importantly being aware of those around us and encouraging them to look after themselves a little bit too.
Whether it's noticing and suggesting to a colleague its OK to go to the loo when they’re furiously typing up a report and ignoring their own needs, (how many times have I done that) or simply encouraging a loved one to take care of themselves, it’s all vitally important.
No one can SelfCare for you. I am so aware of the barriers, time, guilt, other’s needs, maybe even believing we’re not worthy of being cared for, however I absolutely and sincerely hope that we can break down some of these barriers and make SelfCare a little bit more acceptable for you.
I am passionate about #SmallSelfCare, those tiny, maybe 5-minute acts that can make you smile, but when done regularly will build into habit forming ways of taking care of you.
The other most important thing to me is the SelfCare Psychology team. We all work, and we all bring different skills and passions to this project, and we are all SO supportive of each other, there is something incredibly special about spending time with wonderful women who are committed to finding a kinder more caring way of working together!
So, we’re inviting you to join the #SelfCareSquad, tell us your stories, comment on the blogs and let us know what we might be getting right, but as importantly getting wrong!
Speak to you soon!