Game-changers are committed to eyebrow-raising results – whether talking about the frontline practitioners or the leaders who inspire them, game-changers are the ones who work hard, are in it for the long haul, and will give 110% without stopping to count the personal cost. And why do these helpers sacrifice themselves this way? It’s simple: because the mission matters, the vision is vital, and the families are forever struggling.
These everyday helpers are more valuable than gold but they don’t see it because of the myriad things that demand their attention and focus – and ultimately, they may pay the price through compassion fatigue, burnout, or secondary traumatic stress. For our practitioners, self-care is often the last item on a list of tasks they never finish. They “know” self-care is important – and they likely are preaching it to their client's families. And yet, the helpers are hurting. So, we must address the issue of how to help the helpers help themselves.
Ultimately, the solution can take on many façades, but the framework and foundation remain the same. For practitioners to feel confident in practicing their much-needed self-care, they must have two things:
1. Permission to give self-care the focus it deserves in their workplace.
2. Leaders who live out loud their own commitment to self-compassion, self-conditioning, and ultimately self-care.
Leaders with healthy self-care routines in place will often model self-control, stress management, and energy renewal that ultimately results in peak performance. And prioritizing self-care becomes a game-changing permission base to allow workers to do the same – leaders who follow through on this commitment to focus on self-care ultimately create a team culture that values the person behind the work and promotes satisfaction, resilience, and commitment.
For practitioners – come to the table and don’t leave empty-handed – find and hold tight to your voice (and use it to express your needs), commit to YOU first at least once a day, foster habits of intentional recharging, give feedback often on your experience.
For leaders – give permission and then BE THE EXAMPLE – guard the time you do have available for self-care (no matter how small it may seem), develop routines that incorporate effective self-care practices for you, address your hierarchy of needs in practical ways (sleep, fuel, physicality), model boundaries in how you say “yes” and “no.”