What About You? A workbook for those who work with others
This workbook was developed by The National Center on Family Homelessness to help those who work with others assess and plan their own self care. It uses many tools to help you take your stress temperature and assess your personal, professional, and relational self care. I am also including a link to the Professional Quality of Life assessment (ProQOL). “The ProQOL is the most commonly used measure of the negative and positive affects of helping others who experience suffering and trauma. The ProQOL has sub-scales for compassion satisfaction, burnout and compassion fatigue.” -ProQOL.org
“ To put the world in order we must first put the nation in order;
to put the nation in order; we must first put the family in order;
to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life;
we must first set our hearts right.” —Confucius
Why get up in the morning to continue doing the work you do? What motivates you? One of the many things which motivates us is that people who have experienced homelessness and other traumas can and do heal. We know that this healing happens with the support of case managers, housing search workers, outreach teams, social workers, health care providers, and many others. We also know that if we are to “put the world in order,” we must take care of ourselves, our families, and our organizations. We must remember to breathe.
We have developed this guide as a tool to help you along the way. It is divided into three sections:
YOU: Taking care of yourself has to do with, well, yourself. This is the starting place. We can’t expect our families, friends, colleagues, or organizations to place a value on self-care if we don’t do so ourselves.
YOU & OTHERS: Our relationships with others are a key piece of taking care of ourselves. Sometimes these relationships help; sometimes they distract. No matter what, we know that taking care of ourselves cannot happen in isolation.
YOU, OTHERS, & WORK: Our workplace plays a large role in our lives. It is where we spend much of our waking time and energy. For many of us who work with those experiencing homelessness, our work is more of a vocation or a calling than it is a 9-to-5 job. The people we serve have complicated, often overwhelming problems. To help them through their journey, we must create team and organizational cultures that value care of the self, the team, and the organization.
No one thing works for everyone. There is no self-care cookie cutter. So we have sprinkled a little bit of everything throughout this guide. We hope that it will make you think, make you laugh, and occasionally make you remember to breathe.
Copyright 2008: The National Center on Family Homelessness