Discussing and educating others on violence against women or receiving disclosures can lead to distressing and unsettling thoughts and feelings for some people.
Self-care is an effective way to manage and prevent stress and trauma escalating. Stress and trauma affects how you see yourself, others and the world. Your self-care strategies need to intersect across a variety of areas in your life.
Things you can do as an individual
- Reflect on what’s going well and positive about the work.
- Engage in relaxation, mindfulness and soothing activities such as going for a massage, walking or swimming.
- Look after your physical and mental well-being. Keep up your nutrition, sleep, relaxation and creative expression. Think of using humour, reading, or journal writing, for example.
- Spend time with friends and family.
- Develop an outlet for emotional processing outside of your work such as exercise, writing, building, gardening, family, socialising, singing, dancing.
- Engage in activities that are positive and that have concrete outcomes or products that foster a sense of accomplishment.
- Take time out when you need it.
Get support from others
- Assess your network of supportive people at work and outside of work. Draw a map of support people. Who can provide emotional, informational and material support?
- Ask for support and reciprocate and offer support to others. But don’t overdo it.
- Use a buddy system at work, especially if you are new to this work.
- Debrief with trusted colleagues in a safe and supportive environment.
- Get support from workplace and community.
- Access your Employee Assistance Program if you have one.
Self-care and wellbeing resources
A discussion about self-care for violence prevention practitioners
A discussion on the Safe and Equal website about self-care for violence prevention practitioners by a senior trainer in practice and response.
Tips for working with people impacted by sexual assault and domestic and family violence
1800RESPECT resource on self-care for violence prevention and response workers.