Research on adverse childhood experiences (ACE) reveals the prevalence of earlier adversity among a large, middle class sample of 17,000 adults. ACEs are strongly correlated with serious later life mental health, substance abuse, and health problems.
Resiliency research focuses on human strengths that help fend off depression, substance use, and other health related problems. Individual and community qualities can work together to empower a person to move forward in life with a sense of capability, mastery, and expectation.
Recovery and transformation is possible. 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.
There are many ways that people take care of themselves, and you get to decide what works best for you. This self care assessment tool might help you in identifying self care activities and consider ways to build upon your self care.
Here are some easy steps to elicit the relaxation response. Minimal physical maintenance can be incorporated into a busy schedule. You may also find this self care workbook useful for yourself and as an adapted tool for use by a peer support group in your agency or community. Find out what works best for you and take care of yourself!