Helping professionals often identify their own ACE Scores. Your own combination of resilience and supports may have brought you to a place of wholeness where you have learned to grow through service.
Self care is important to heal from your own ACEs, manage stressors associated with serving multi-problem populations, prevent burnout, achieve integration and “wholeness,” or simply to enhance your presence and ability to build relationships and serve as a role model.
Self care protects the self from the harmful effects of cumulative stress and promotes whole self wellness.
We are whole beings comprising mind, body, and spirit. As such, it is important that we identify self care practices that nourish each integral part of our whole self, helping us to maintain balance in our personal and professional lives. There are different activities we can engage in to maintain this balance while going through our day.
This self care assessment tool, adapted from Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization by Karen Saakvitne and Laurie Anne Pearlman, may help you identify self care activities as you consider ways of building up your self care practice.
Here are some resources you may find helpful as you assess and develop your self care practice:
Minimum Physical Maintenance - Tips for healthy daily living by Laurence Morehouse, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Kinesiology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Steps to Elicit the Relaxation Response - A series of steps developed by Herbert Benson, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine .
Self-Care Starter Kit - A really useful site developed by the University at Buffalo School of Social Work for seasoned professionals and students alike. The site contains a wealth of self care resources, including exercises and activities designed to help you start and maintain your self care plan.
What About You? A Workbook for Those Who Work with Others - This workbook from the National Center on Family Homelessness is a go-to guide on self-care appropriate for any helping professional.
A Beginner's Guide to Meditation for Self Care - An introduction to meditation handbook by Andrea Fortuin, Executive Director of Orenda Healing Arts, a center for mindfulness and healing partnering with the HEARTS Initiative coalition for ACE Response in New York's Capital Region. The handbook also includes a Guided Yoga Nidra Meditation, led by Andrea, to help relax the body and still the mind.