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Recovery Care Coordinators learn strategies for self-care, resilience
July 26, 2016 |
By Warrior Care Staff
By Ms. Stefanie Pidgeon (Ready and Resilient)
Posted to Army.mil on July 26, 2016
Park says there are proactive and deliberate solution strategies that, if practiced and made part of a daily routine, can help Recovery Care Coordinators stay resilient and protect against compassion fatigue and burn-out. These include becoming more in tune to indicators of resilience, maintaining good physical health, and fostering positive social relationships. During the training, Park taught three skills: Character Strengths, Energy Management and Hunt the Good Stuff. "Recovery Care Coordinators can learn about their signature character strengths so that they can bring the best of who they are more fully to their role of helping others, leading them to feel more energized in their day-to-day tasks, rather than depleted. Energy Management can help raise awareness of when our energy reserve is low, and provides strategies to help disarm that fight or flight reaction that can bleed our energy. Hunt the Good Stuff is a skill that builds optimism and helps us to shift attention to what's right with life, which can be critical in balancing our perspective when enduring through tough times. " Park said.
TAKE TIME FOR A DEBRIEF
Ebonie Washington, one of the coordinators attending the training, says one of the strategies she uses is to "debrief" the day during her one-hour commute home. "I also take a moment for myself before work and again after lunch," said Washington, who is a Transition Coordinator and helps wounded, ill and injured service members who are transitioning out of the military, or who are already out of the military, with jobs, education, and Veterans Affairs benefits. She says these moments help her process her cases and keeps her from bringing her work home. Park tells the coordinators that she's heard first-hand how frustrating the process can be for these service members as well as Recovery Care Coordinators. "The service members don't know what's within their control or out of their control. They learn to be helpless," Park said. "This can be really difficult for Recovery Care Coordinators because they are helping these service members navigate through this system, which can be challenging." Washington says her biggest take-away from the training was learning the skill of Energy Management. "If I exhaust all my energy, what do I have left? I realize that if I don't take care of myself, fatigue is going to set in," she said. During the training, Park references the oxygen mask instructions often given prior to a plane taking off: If you can't help yourself, you're not going to be able to help other people. "It's important that these Recovery Care Coordinators find a way to disconnect once in a while, which will help them maintain a positive attitude, and a level of energy and motivation that can be passed along to those who have come to them for help," said Park. For more information about the Army's Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, visit csf2.army.mil. For more information about Warrior Care Policy's Recovery Coordination Program, visit http://warriorcare.dodlive.mil/wounded-warrior-resources/recovery-coordination/.
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