Who Are you?

Educator

Today’s educators face the challenge of teaching skills and values necessary for students to succeed in the 21st century, with limited support and resources. Meetings, paperwork, and administrative politics can distract from the mission and rewards of teaching.

Complex phenomena like mental health, opiate addiction, chronic illness and poverty can direct the classroom climate, making it important to maintain your personal well-being so you can be a consistent resource and presence for your students and co-workers.

Work of Care’s resources emphasize how personal choices can affect interactions with others – empowering both educators and learners to see how a commitment to maintaining their own well-being is an integral part of creating a healthy, caring school community.

Health Care Provider

The culture that is making patients sicker affects those who care for them as well. Many providers are working in a production-driven, bottom line model of health care, not conducive to the connection, attunement and relationships necessary for effective treatment and excellent care.

Health care providers often work long shifts, and are overworked and under-supported. They are expected to consistently provide high quality care, make important decisions in a state of exhaustion, and care compassionately for people in crisis. Staffing problems may mean there are limited breaks, and no time to connect with coworkers or to process difficult emotions.

Often “shutting down emotions” is considered an effective strategy to handle to handle the work of being a health-care provider. This may be why physicians experience alarming rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, PTSD, drug and alcohol dependency, and burnout.

The answer: reframing self-care as a commitment to what is personally meaningful, and building skills to stay present with and attuned to each individual patient in a health care system that is not supportive of authentic connections. When your career is caring for others, a commitment to your own well-being is essential to providing sustainable high quality care to your patients.

Parent

Parenting can be a challenging and all-encompassing experience. Parental self-care is essential to the health of children and families, but options for improving your well-being may be constrained when actively caring for children. Reframing self-care and wellness as a commitment to your values, and developing skills that help you be attuned to your child’s needs as well as your own, will result in you being healthier – and happier – along with your children and family.

Studies have shown that if your child has ADHD, Autism, Learning disabilities, complex Lyme disease, Diabetes, or other disability or chronic illness, the well-being of a parent/caregiver can directly affect their child’s heath outcomes.

Using the 8 steps to understand your own needs, build skills, and create a self-care plan before a time of crisis, will all help you parent in a way that supports your own well-being along with that of your children and family.

Teen

Statistics show that many young adults are affected by depression, anxiety, addiction, chronic health problems, loneliness, and other challenges. Teenagers are required to learn math and social studies, but we do not teach them how to understand their unique needs, or how to be motivated by what is most meaningful to them.

True self-care is a deep commitment to personal values, one that can bring the best of an individual into their school, family and community.

The 8 steps ask you to identify your best path, instead of conforming to an ideal designed by others. Making a self-care plan before you are in a crisis, building a network of supportive people, and insisting on an environment that helps you succeed, will improve your well-being and your ability to have a positive impact on your friends, family, school and community.

Camp Counselor

The role of a camp counselor is important. Campers’ memories of even small interactions with you can last their entire lives! It may be a ‘summer job’, but in the context of a young camper’s life you are a memorable individual, and powerful role model.

To be actively engaged all summer, and aware of the needs of the young children in your care, you need to make choices that support your well-being. This will let you be a reliable presence and resource for young campers who are managing the daunting challenges of being away from home, navigating their peer groups, and discovering who they are as people. (It will also make the job more fun and rewarding.)

Individual

If you are one of the good, caring people working within a broken system, you may get tired, discouraged, and lonely. Work of Care was created to help you learn skills necessary to bring the change you want to see into your world.

Being an attuned and compassionate person can be challenging in a dominant culture that emphasizes competition and material success over presence and empathy. Using the 8 Steps to maintain your well-being – according to your personal definition and priorities –

Caregiver

The work of caregiving may be thrust upon someone in a crisis, with little preparation, and few alternative options.

Caregivers are at risk for isolation, physical and emotional exhaustion, financial problems, and anxiety and depressive disorders. The irony is, the healthier the caregiver, the better care they can offer!

Learning skills to care for yourself is integral to being able to effectively take care of another person. Maintaining your own well-being improves outcomes for yourself, your family, and the person (or people) you are caring for.

Work of Care also offers workshops to help caregiver organizations, individuals, and medical offices provide skills and resources that support caregivers.