Helping Yourself Before Helping Others

In Mental Health & Addictions – Darren by DarrenLeave a Comment

As my experience here at Stenberg College was beginning I believe I mentioned that I wasn’t really stressed. I had a few of the nervous little butterflies but not to the point that it was bothering or so I thought……

Since starting I have begun to realize that we can all have and hold onto stress without really knowing it until it has grown into something big and hard to manage. I have learned recently just because I don’t notice it doesn’t mean the seed has not been planted, it doesn’t mean stress is not growing. It is truly amazing what I have learned about myself. The knowledge that we get about ourselves and self-care that people really don’t know about. My wife has pointed out a few times in our 9 year marriage observing some of my bad habits that I didn’t take care of myself sufficiently prior to the knowledge obtained from this course. We discussed, on more than one occasion, that if I can’t take care of myself how would I be able to help others? I’ve thought about this and not truly getting the point of what she was saying. I always thought that I was a person who doesn’t stress out. Well, after just a few months of learning about the signs and causes I realized how wrong I was. I was had stress I just couldn’t identify it for what it was. The more I thought about myself and my coping skills the more I questioned my ability to recognize the issues. Not just within myself but with the people that I am swearing to help by taking this course. How will it affect my performance on the job? Well, that’s why I am here, the reward of that knowledge and the tools to apply that knowledge.

Burnout is common with this field of work so I urge all of you when it comes to self-care pay particular attention yourself. When we reflect on it we have to remember to be truly honest with ourselves, if we need help don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Ego has no place here. We have to remember that it does not only affect ourselves but it will affect the people that rely on us. If we are not well and try to brush it off or hide it, it will catch up to us in the long run. Ultimately the people we are swearing to help will suffer as well as ourselves. People that know us can generally tell when things aren’t right, we isolate ourselves and maybe indulge a little more in substance use. We become irritated easily and appear to be in bad moods often. If someone you know points this out to you pay attention, the people that love you are pointing these things out to you because they care not to judge.

The reward here is that we are being trained to focus on a more purposeful and functional mental and emotional state of mind for our clients and more importantly ourselves. If we can’t live by these rules within ourselves then how much help can we truly offer? We have to remember that we are not Gods or superheroes. Just because we are taking this course doesn’t make us invulnerable or immune to what life throws at us.

I find that indulging in hobbies such as writing (a new one for me), I recently created a blog page about our loved Canucks. I like to play and/or listen to music. I also build old classic car models and I am extremely interested in hockey (as my blog page fanswithanopenmind.wordpress.com would suggest). I am trying meditation as well. So you can see there are a lot of solutions for dealing with stress. Focus on the things that work for you and you will feel better inside and out. I often think of how all our lives would be if we learned these skills early in life. I feel self-care classes should be mandatory in all levels of our education system. I know it would be a beginning for wellness for all of us. The more we know the better we are able to understand and deal with helping ourselves and others to live mentally and physically enriching lives. Fortunately for me I never gave up in life (although close) which has led me to this day talking to all of you, remember we can do almost anything we set our minds to despite the barriers in life. All we need is knowledge, thank you once again Stenberg and staff for giving me a chance. Until next time, live well within yourself. Wellness is an achievable goal.

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