National Stress Awareness Month

Written by: Nicole Vangrimbergen, Victim Services Coordinator
Many of us get home from work, grab a frozen dinner, toss it in the microwave and pour a glass of wine. Maybe we drop into the local fast food chain because we are in a rush to get to the next commitment, whether its baseball practice for our son or a dance recital for our daughter. Many of us find ourselves jumping from one task to the next without taking the time to de-stress from the effects of the day’s workload. Everyone and everything becomes the priority. The real question we should be asking ourselves is “have I made myself a priority today”. We advocate for victims, but do we advocate for ourselves? Do we advocate reducing work related stress? In the field of advocacy, it becomes second nature to give our all too each client from day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. When life gets in the way, it is of the utmost importance to take the time to provide self-care. From her web article, Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress, Dr. Barbara Markway has provided several examples of self-care pathways to cope with stress. Here is a sample of a workplace and professional self-care checklist:

  • Take a break during the workday (e.g., lunch)
  • Take time to chat with co-workers
  • Make quiet time to complete tasks
  • Identify projects or tasks that are exciting and rewarding
  • Balance your caseload so no one day or part of a day is “too much”
  • Get regular supervision or consultation
  • Negotiate for your needs (benefits, pay raise)
  • Have a peer support group
  • Develop a non-trauma area of professional interest

Karl D. LaRowe (2012-2013)
I strongly encourage everyone to review this article and find ways to implement these activities in your life each day. You are the most important part of the mission; put your individual wellness first each day.
“Create a new self-care practice today. Observe your comfort level when it comes to being good to yourself. Discomfort is a wise teacher.” – Caroline Myss and Peter Occhiogrosso

Markway, B., Ph.D. (2014). Seven Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress. Retrieved April 4, 2018, from
LaRowe, Karl D. (2012-2013). Self-care Checklist. Retrieved April 4 , 2018, from