Episode 24

Taking Care of the Heart - Your Resiliency Matters


May 28th, 2019

21 mins 15 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts

About this Episode

The nature of the work that is carried out at crisis/distress lines makes us all vulnerable to feeling the stressors that affect our everyday lives. Our personal situations and stressors can also have an impact on how we react to the work we do, and at times, we need to evaluate why we sometimes feel it becomes too much. In the very insightful presentation by Yvette Perreault, director of the AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario, you will be able to take a look at how the multiple layers of life events can impact our ability to deal with stressors and what we can do to maintain a healthy level of resiliency. Questions for Further Consideration: As call takers, our own well-being matters. What do you do, on a regular basis, to help foster and maintain a good level of well-being? When we are in the role of helping others and, at the same time experiencing some stress of our own, that feeling can be sometimes magnified. In order to be helpful to others, it is important for us to maintain a balance in our lives and to regularly check to make sure we are attending to our own needs and feelings. Ask yourself what you are doing to keep yourself healthy: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. This can act as a guide or starting point for you to act upon. Taking care of yourself helps to keep your body and mind more ready to deal with situations as they arise. When you are faced with a personal situation that causes anxiety or stress, what is your usual response? How do you feel about the way you typically respond? Upon reflection, what strategies would you consider as helpful tools for coping? People respond differently to stressful situations. For example, some withdraw for a while, some suppress the feeling and try to redirect their energy, and others can try to address the situation 'head on'. We know that there are ways that help make some stressful situations less impactful. Consider the relaxation techniques that we can use, certain people that we can talk to, or tasks we can complete, that could help with the situation. Reflect on previous situations and consider what has helped in the past and what coping strategies might help now. Create a pros/cons list that could help put what seems like a terrible situation, into perspective. Another position to consider when facing a personal situation that causes anxiety or stress is to remember that 'Rome wasn't built in a day'. Whatever the problem is, it took a while to get that way and it will take a while to overcome....baby steps are OK. When trying to assist a caller, a crisis/distress line worker could help the caller to come up with one single step to begin with. The caller is always welcome to call back to talk and let us know how they are doing. What are you doing to help nurture resiliency - in yourself and others, in your family or workplace? What are some of the resources available in your community that you can rely on or recommend to others in a similar situation? Read books and publications and surf the net for ideas that motivate you into developing this inner strength. Identify the self-help groups or support groups that one can access to get inspiration and comfort, when in a difficult situation. Know that there are mental health professionals in the community who can help provide insight into developing skills that build resiliency and provide coaching through challenging situations. When helping a caller on the crisis/distress line, acknowledge and applaud any personal strengths or attributes of the caller....what are their past successes ....reinforce their past successes and their ability to cope in difficult situations. Discuss possible avenues for moving forward and resources available that could help with this.