The Cost of Caring

I’ve shared both my mom’s story and my own about curiosity in previous posts. How do these two stories intertwine? If you remember, my story of curiosity was my path of continued learning about the mind and body and how they are connected. My mom is always looking for ways to educate and support the staff and students at her school.

About a year ago, she asked me to lead a workshop for her staff that focused on self-care and secondary trauma. I had just done a self-care workshop at the studio I was teaching at, so I took this workshop and reframed it to fit her staff’s needs. Secondary trauma is exactly as it sounds: when an individual is exposed to and takes on the trauma of others. This is very common in the field of education, but can also be a huge stressor for other fields such as social work, elderly care, nursing, etc.

This self-care workshop focused on incorporating breath work, meditation and physical movement into their daily routines. I gave them ideas of what to do in the morning, the middle of their day and in the evening. We ended with relaxing restorative poses and a long savasana so they would leave feeling a little lighter. I received great feedback from the staff and noted what things went well and what I would change if I were to offer this workshop again.

After enrolling and beginning my educational journey into yoga therapy, I told my mom I wanted to offer a follow-up session that dug a little deeper. The self-care workshop was great, because many of the staff had not had any sort of daily routine to focus on their health and well-being. But I knew the stress and burnout that comes with working in education was even deeper. I started to develop my next training using what I had been learning in my yoga therapy program, along with my own personal journey with stress, anxiety and depression. In addition, I did further research on secondary trauma, also referred to as the “cost of caring”.

Have you ever looked, and I mean really looked, into someone’s eyes for three minutes? Give it a try!

In this training, we stripped down the barriers and the hard exteriors to look deeper within. We took a closer look at where their stress came from and how it affected them. Then we discussed ways to prevent and deal with stress. Experiencing secondary trauma can wear a person down. A supportive community is necessary to not only survive but to thrive. We give best to others when we’ve taken the time to get to know and support ourselves first.

“We can’t give from an empty cup.”

If you would like more details about staff training, please contact me! I am very passionate about connection between employees and feeling supported in the workplace. I have created a questionnaire to learn more about your workplace so I can tailor the training to your needs.

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