Personal experience and work with countless practitioners engaged in the ‘helping’ professions has highlighted to Frances the need for regular time out to refuel, re-charge our batteries and have the opportunity to engage in fun and restful activities, if we are to remain effective in our work and emotionally well.
Expressions like ‘Physician, heal thyself!’ and ‘the wounded healer’ recognise that people may often neglect themselves in the service of others. Even when we try our best to look after ourselves through regular attendance at supervision, and build relaxation and pleasurable activities into our schedules, working with people who are in crisis – whether emotional or physical – can really take its toll. Working day in, day out with emergency situations and people who are facing traumatic personal circumstances can be extremely draining. If this is combined with large caseloads, unsocial and possibly long working hours and other stressful working conditions, the potential for harm is even greater.
Over time, we can become susceptible to ‘compassion fatigue’ and ultimately burnout if we don’t take care of ourselves. Our view of the world can get distorted and it can become difficult to connect with feelings of joy and hope when surrounded by high levels of stress and despair.
Starting in May 2014, Brighter Futures Personal Growth will be holding bi-monthly ‘Self Care for Caring Professionals’ experiential days at Sunshine Barn. These days are designed to give participants regular opportunities to unwind and de-stress in beautiful, private surroundings and provide a ‘soft place to land’ for all caring professionals who want to be nurtured themselves every now and then.
The days are designed for Counsellors/Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Doctors, Nurses, A & E staff and those who care for the terminally ill. You can attend regularly, or dip in and out, whatever works best for you. It isn’t group therapy, but you will find tremendous support by spending time with a small group of people who understand the pressures you are under. The emphasis will be on relaxation, and engaging in absorbing group activities which will give your brain a welcome rest from the pressures of your job.
The latest developments in the field of neuroscience show that physical or ‘body-based’ activities are incredibly powerful when it comes to releasing trauma and de-stressing. Participants in self-care days will be able to experience activities such as yoga, ecotherapy walks, singing, drumming workshops and so on, to help discharge stress stored in their bodies. Outside practitioners/facilitators will be brought in to offer a wide range of activities for the group.
Complementary therapy treatments such as reflexology, aromatherapy and Indian head massage will be available throughout the day, and there will be plenty of warm drinks and tasty nibbles on offer, as well as a delicious home cooked lunch to nourish you.
Any parts of the days that don’t appeal can be skipped, and if you prefer you can spend time relaxing in the private garden and interacting with the animals at Sunshine Barn, listening to music, reading, or having a snooze! The cost of these self-care days is just £85 per person, fully inclusive. Here are the dates for the rest of 2014:
Saturday 26 July – 10.30am-4pm
Saturday 20 September – 10.30am-4pm
Saturday 22 November – 10.30am-4pm
To book your place on the next day click here.