Stopping Invidious comparison
Invidious comparison is comparing oneself to others by race, sex, religion, or class. Such comparison could lessen one’s self esteem. How can we put a stop to this? The first step is to understand and accept differences. No two people are alike and there will always be someone smarter, stronger, more attractive, thinner, or wealthier. We must acknowledge our strengths and other strengths and stop dwelling on weaknesses. Count what you have and not what you don’t have. Be OK with imperfection and work on goals to improve yourself.
Strategies to avoid vicarious traumatization
There are always others suffering in the world and as a human service provider we come across this daily. Some may be worse off than others. Vicarious trauma is the process of change that happens because you care about other people who have been hurt, and feel committed or responsible to help them. Causes of this are Exposure to stories of trauma, the desire to help/change survivor’s situation, feeling powerless when a service provider does not see positive changes in the survivor’s situations, overly identifying with survivors, and thinking we have the power to change the survivor’s situations. Over time this process can lead to changes in your psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being.
One strategy that can be used to help prevent vicarious traumatization is to escape from work. Go to the movies, out to dinner, or anywhere that you can physically and mentally separate from work. Resting is also another strategy to prevent vicarious traumatization. Resting isn’t necessarily sleep either. A massage, a relaxing day at the pool, or a weekend without any schedule or time line to follow can consist of resting. Play is considered to be anything that you engage in that make you happy, laugh and smile.
Other strategies to develop
There are many other strategies that I can develop to help deal with vicarious traumatization and preventing it. Sources of stress are lack of confidence, personal sore spots, stress built up, physical responses, and confusion in the work place. Strategies to use are Utilize supervision, peers, realize your own strengths, seek mentors and practice skills, seek training, observe others, read and research. Know what your buttons are and desensitize yourself. It also important to know the signs of burnout and take time to rest and relax. Know agency policies and procedures, practice staying calm. All of this will help relieve stress that comes with the job.
Sometimes helpers do not go and get help when they are caught in vicarious traumatization. What prevents them from this? Workers may feel that they should not have personal problems. Some workers view personal problems as failure. Workers may think that there is no safe place to get help. They may feel embarrassed to ask for help, or do not want to cross boundaries. If a worker waits too long to get help it can affect their life greatly. There are many support groups and ways to get help so it should not be put off.
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