As health and care workers, we frequently support those who have lived through traumatic and highly emotional experiences. It's easy to feel that we need to put our own emotional needs to one side when we're supporting others who have experienced difficulties. This is often how carers feel when they're caring for their loved ones (visit our 'being a carer' page).
However, we need to recognise that hearing about, and often seeing, other people's trauma and difficulties and helping them to cope can take its toll on our own emotional wellbeing and can potentially trigger difficult memories and emotions within ourselves.
We can be traumatised by our work and may need to rely on others to support us to cope when things get too much.
It's important to take care of yourself because:
- you are important and deserve your own love and care
- by looking after yourself you can continue your amazing work of supporting others
- Talking to colleagues and forming peer support groups has been found to be extremely helpful and effective in helping health and social care staff to deal with and process the emotional impact of their work.
- Take a look at the staff support offers in your organisation to see what help is available at work.
- Try mindfulness to help you find calm and peace throughout the day.
- Read the 'Surviving and thriving at work' toolkit to help you manage stress at work and have a plan for when things get too much.
- Keep yourself as well as possible by eating a healthy diet, taking physical exercise and connecting with friends, family and colleagues (see our 'Keeping Well' page for inspiration).