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Self-Care for Secondary Traumatic Stress Prevention

Self-care is an important part of being a productive and healthy individual. When working in a service profession like teaching, counseling, and mental health, self-care can be a key part of Secondary Traumatic Stress prevention.

Components of self-care are physical, psychological, social and interpersonal, and professional. When considering physical self-care, it should include bodywork, which is exercise or yoga to reduce tension or stress. Proper nutrition and ways to maximize sleep are also part of the physical self-care component.

A psychological self-care strategy is a healthy balance between work and leisure. This involves setting aside relaxation time for yourself with time management. The use of meditation and activities like reading or journaling are ways to create cognitive flexibility. This includes setting realistic expectations for oneself.

Social and interpersonal self-care involves interaction with other individuals to promote wellness. A diverse social support system is important because one can receive highly supportive feedback from different perspectives when necessary. Social activism is also encouraged to give oneself a sense of satisfaction and purpose in addressing social justice. This is also helpful for an educator or clinician who empathizes with clients or students and wishes to make a difference.

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