Take Care of Yourself
The ALCC has members taking PSA (Peer Support and Advocacy) training at the 2110 Center for Gender Diversity, and one of the workshops was on Self Care in regards to peer support on October 6.
I found this workshop helpful, not just for peer support, but as well for pretty much most things in life.
Self care is essentially being aware of how you feel, and recognizing when you have to take a step back for a moment so that you can take care of yourself so that you can approach the situation (if you can). In regards to peer support, this could be when you yourself are triggered by something the person you are trying to help says or does for instance, or it is something that you cannot handle right away, or you may just need a moment to gather yourself so you can better think on the situation.
Self care methods can be various, and it all depends on the person. For instance if a tea is something that calms you and makes you happy, take time and make a tea. If comfort food is yours, have some. Meditation, even a simple “sit down, close eyes, breathe deep, and think of a happy place” can work for instance.
We also have to recognize and accept our triggers, the sounds/sights/smells/words/etc that can set us off or trigger a traumatic event etc that we have experienced. Know what your triggers are, accept them but of course try to avoid them. But of course we cannot always avoid, and they can come, this is what self care is for.
There are many things we can do to help ourselves, something that people tend to forget – taking care of ourselves and not just others. Among them are having a support network, empower yourself, postive self talk, buddy system, know that it is okay to cry, remember you have a choice, and more.