As part of our “Caring for the Caregivers” Program, our team travels to domestic violence-focused organizations and shelters to provide in person support and training around compassion fatigue and burnout. In March, our team was delighted to travel to Philadelphia to train over 50 Caregivers from multiple domestic violence organizations. Our founder, Indrani Goradia, was also able to attend one of the training days, providing more insight and care to our training participants.
Throughout the week we worked with staff in various arenas: medical advocates, hotline staff, legal advocates, administrators, therapists and housing advocates among others. We had lively discussions about the extraordinary situations staff encounter on a day-to-day basis and subsequently, how the pervasive stress leads to burnout and compassion-fatigue. Many of the staff shared that this stress has had an impact on their capacity to take care of the needs of their friends and family.
Our trainers actively listened and validated the Caregivers experience. We taught numerous tools designed to support staff with recognizing and setting boundaries, a fundamental practice of self-care. One staff person who has been in the field for two decades said of the boundary tools, “This has changed the way I look at everything.” We received consistent feedback that the visualization exercises were immensely helpful in preparing for having difficult conversations. An administrator commented “This exercise has helped me both personally and professionally.”
We take great joy in knowing our trainings are supporting Caregivers as they continue to do their work. For more information about our resources and support, visit ourCaregiver Resources. We’re looking forward to our next training!
Looks like a pile of trash yes? No matter how many times you look at it or stare at it, it still looks like a pile of dirty tissues.
Look at photo number 2.
See something peeking out? Look closely. It’s a gold bracelet.
There are two lessons here: Lesson One: NEVER wrap your jewelry in tissue paper for “ safe keeping.” Better to stuff it in your shoe so when you go to put them on, you will feel the sharp edge. Better yet put it in a safe or on your body! Lesson Two: What looks like garbage to you may hold treasures for another. Let’s not judge what others hold precious, they have their reasons. Better to ask and be curious in a kind way.
Getting hot or getting cold or getting burned is a never ending game with abusers.
I love a hot shower and I realize that it is a privilege to have both water and to have it hot.
This post is not about water privilege but I will use the mechanism of the water heater to illustrate some abusive behaviors. If I take a shower about 30-40 mins after a family member I can usually get a little bit of tepid water that is still in the pipes and if I forget that this is simply left over from the last person and jump in without thinking, sooner rather than later, I will be shocked with gallons of cold water coming out of the shower head. I have to have the presence of mind to allow the water to heat up again so that all the water I need or want is at the temperature that is comfortable for me.
If I am living with an abuser and he comes home in a good mood, it’s probably left over warmth from a work friend or his girlfriend and if I pretend that his “ warmth” has anything g to do with me, then I am in for a big shock. I might find myself saying things like “but you were in such a great mood” what happened?
The answer will be that the warmth left over from his friend has run thru his veins and his emotional distance has reappeared. If I push and push for the “warmth” to return, he may jump from ice cold to scalding hot in seconds. Scalding hot could look like punching, screaming, cursing or worse.
When we normalize abusive behaviors and pretend that we are strong enough to fix the chronic dysfunction, it’s like pretending that we don’t know that after the cold water runs out, the hot water will appear and we will get burned. I do not mean to suggest that dealing with these mood swings is easy, but pretending that the mood swings are not happening and continually bending over backwards and tying ourselves up in knots trying to figure out what we did wrong, it’s ignoring reality.
We need help and advice and we must be steady enough and grounded enough to look for it.
Can I tell you a secret?
Well, after I tell you, it’s no longer a secret! Here it is…I AM SICK of saying the same thing.
The ONLY thing that remains crucial to the health and welfare of the world and that is END VIOLENCE to WOMEN and GIRLS.Are you sick and tired of reading these messages from me? I would expect that you are. It’s Ok..I know you don’t mean you are sick and tired of me as a person.
If you are reading this, you probably like me. Know that I am also sick and tired of asking people to dissect their lives and find the ways where the violence is silent and insipid.
What areas? Here are just a few…Telling your daughter to lose weight because no boys will like her. Telling your self boys will be boys.Allowing your spouse to disrespect you.Allowing yourself to accept disrespect. Making excuses for religious institutions to treat women as second class citizens. Repeating lies like “ she must have been asking for it, look at how she was dressed” when you see or read about sexual and physical violence.
I could go on and on, but you are smart enough to get the idea. Take an action to end violence, please.
We teach young kids to take chances from a young age. We encourage them to take the next step and when they stumble we cheer them on. We try as best we can to allay the fears of middle schoolers who are afraid of a multitude of things, some real and some imagined. We ask our teenagers to stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves. We recognize when humanity rises to challenges like defeating the Hitlers of our world and tearing down the stupid Berlin Wall and the greatly needed work that so many non- profits do in our ever-closer world.
The thing that still surprises us is when a BRAND like Nike uses controversy to do the right thing (Colin Kaepernick) and when Gillette puts out an ad calling for the males of the species to Be the best.Some people are very upset and vowing to never buy their product again. I am sure many new customers will. I plan to buy razors today to give as gifts!
Some of people are saying that their men are “fine.” Yes, many men are fine and many need to be reminded to be better. We can all be better.
If 1 in 3 women is being abused then as many men are committing the crimes. Visit UN Women for statistics if you want to challenge the above statistic.
We need more brands to use their powerful voices to move the needle on this issue. Now if only the feminine hygiene people could throw their weight behind ending violence to women. Maybe they can put ads on the packaging?
Well, until they do, the rest of us must use the platform we have.
In this episode Indrani and Dr. Anita Sands share their experiences and the tools they’ve used to manage fear with the adversities they’ve faced. Anita also shares her story of coping with changes in her professional life after becoming a mother.
Episode Time Codes
00:09 Introduction 02:00 Welcome and Introduction of Dr. Sands 5:15 Article Discussion 14:45 Asking for Help 21:15 Advice on Priorities 23:30 How Fear Shows Up 34:00 From Scarcity to Abundance 37:00 Curiosity trumps Comparison 43:38 Wrap Up 46:09 Outtro
There are far too many self-care practices in the world to list them all. However, if you are looking for something new to try this year you can listen to Indrani, Amy, and Jeremie as they share their own self-care practices from 2017. In this episode, part one of two, the ILF Team each share one self-care practice that worked for them in 2017, and one self-care practice they want to improve upon in 2018.
Episode Time Codes
00:00 Introduction 00:57 Welcome 02:53 Indrani – Finding gratitude in the small moments 05:37 Amy – Communication your own needs 10:00 Jeremie – spend time with others doing what you love 12:47 Discussion about what self-care practices worked in 2017 15:58 Amy – yoga and meditation 19:14 Jeremie – keeping a gratitude and success journal 22:54 Indrani – restorative yoga practice 22:52 Discussion about what self-care practices need improving in 2018 32:43 Conclusion
Join Indrani for a meditation to help prepare you for the new year. This meditation will help you get grounded, then send peace and compassion to yourself. Once you are feeling at ease, you can then send the same peace and compassion to others.
Prepare for the holidays by listening to these SIX self-care tips from Amy, Jeremie, and Stacie.
Learn how to plan for your “you time” ahead of time, how to use your boundaries and values to navigate difficult conversations, the importance of gratitude, and three more tips in this episode of the Caring for the Caregivers Podcast.
Episode Time Codes
00:00 Introduction 02:03 Stacie Kenton Introduction. 03:26 Scenario 04:15 Jeremie – Plan for your “you time,” ahead of time. 07:10 Discussion about Planning your “you time,” ahead of time. 07:45 Stacie – Show some gratitude. 09:37 Discussion about Show some Gratitude. 11:56 Amy – Boundaries and values. 18:42 Discussion about Boundaries and values. 20:50 Jeremie – What positive emotions do you want to experience? 23:55 Discussion about What positive emotions do you want to experience. 27:25 Amy – Saying No. 33:12 Discussion about Saying no. 36:50 Stacie – Assume everyone is doing their best. 39:42 Discussion about Assume everyone is doing their best. 43:46 Conclusion 45:05 Volunteer Suzanne Holman shares two tips. 46:20 Volunteer Alyce Jurgenson shares two tips.
B – Did I respect my boundaries? R – Was I reliable? A – Did I hold myself accountable? V – Did I respect the vault and share appropriately? I – Did I act from my integrity? G – Was I generous towards myself?
(Source: Mudras – For Healing and Transformation by Joseph and Lilian Page)
In the last episode you learned some tools you can use for having a tough conversation with your supervisor. After having that tough conversation your brain is going to be full and your emotions running high.
Use this meditation to get to a place where you can properly review the meeting and make decisions on your next steps.
Give to Indrani’s Light Foundation
Your support will be used towards covering the costs of the free one-day or two-day, in-person training the ILF Team provides to the advocates at domestic violence organizations across the United States. Your support has already paid for training in Texas, Oregon, Washington, California, Pennsylvania, Alabama, and Illinois.