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  • in reply to: Sadness at being apart at Xmas #13869
    GL friend

    Thats understandable. No problem, I always reply! I hope the call makes you feel closer and connected.

    in reply to: Sadness at being apart at Xmas #13868

    Thanks for replying to my post. I plan to call him tomorrow but to be honest I’m dreading Xmas this year without him. I’ll be glad when it’s over

    in reply to: Sadness at being apart at Xmas #13864
    GL friend

    i am sending you so much strength at this time, @Vschiavone
    we are here if you need a chat

    in reply to: Sadness at being apart at Xmas #13863
    GL friend

    oh @Vschiavone, im so sorry to hear about this sadness you are experiencing. youre right, the sydney outbreak has caught so many by surprise and affected plans. i hope that maybe you can feel connected with technology with your son. phone call or video chats. maybe write a letter or send a card if possible. i know it’s not the same. nothing replaces the presence of a person.

    in reply to: Personal relationships #13839

    Hi, I have a son in the army in another state. I have not seen him for 11 months as he usually only gets leave at Xmas. He had planned to stay with us for six weeks over Xmas and January and arrived here on 11 December. Yesterday he had to cut the trip short and fly home due to our Covid outbreak in Sydney. I was unprepared for the terrible pain I have felt since then. I cry a lot and feel overwhelmed. I know it will get better with time but how do you cope when your heart is broken?

    in reply to: Impact of bushfires #13756
    Friendly Responder

    Yesterday marked the anniversary of the Cudlee Creek/Kangaroo Island fires in SA. Last year was horrific – we had to evacuate our home six times over summer, as the fires were within 4km of us. There were multiple fires surrounding our area. We lost three people to those fires, and so many homes, properties, and animals. Sometimes it feels as though the tragedy of last summer has been swept away by COVID, Chinese export bans, and American politics.

    Some days, I feel anger as it feels like the rest of the world has forgotten what was lost, both here in SA and the other states.

    To keep myself in check, I try to avoid news shows and other avenues of propaganda and instead try to focus on how I can help my community to continue to rebuild and to strengthen their resilience. I am so grateful that the start of this fire season has been nothing like it was last year. Sending my heartfelt condolences to those who lost loved ones or possessions, and sincerest gratitude to the brave men and women who did all they could to keep everyone safe.

    in reply to: My self care #13755
    Friendly Responder

    I have a friend who is a counsellor, and she is a walk-and-talk therapist and that is exactly what she does; she takes her clients on beautiful walks and helps them through their issues along the way. I think it is such a clever way to get your body moving and your mind to open up. I agree, Sarah, that a range of interests is helpful.

    in reply to: First Responders – Self Care and Mental Wellbeing #13754
    Friendly Responder

    I think I can safely say that most first responders have a lot invested in their role. For many, their career as someone who saves lives, property, or upholds the law is an integral part of their sense of worth, purpose in life, and even a part of their identity; I know it was for me and it certainly still is the case for my partner. That is why self-care is essential; ensuring you are healthy and safe to fulfil your role is a vital part of professional practice and well-being.

    After suffering from vicarious trauma as an ED nurse, I had to leave the profession. Now, I am in a front-line role again, and this time I want to make dead-certain that I don’t go through the same issues that I faced in my nursing career.

    Every month, I complete a compassion/burnout/secondary trauma self-survey to track how I am going. No one makes me do this, it is just something that I am proactive about. Whilst our employers do put measures in place to protect our mental health, I personally don’t feel it is enough. It is for that reason that I take control of my own well-being and regularly check how I am travelling.

    The screening tool is called the “PROQOL: Professional quality of life screening” tool and you can download it for free at this link:

    Being a trauma survivor, I have found that I can’t always rely on or trust others to make sure I am ok. This is why I take responsibility for my health and well-being, and because I want to make sure that I can continue doing the job I love so much, as well as keeping myself mentally and physically well for my self, my family, and my friends. After I left nursing, I felt so low and depressed because nursing meant so much to me. I also felt let down by the system, all of which contributed to my PTSD symptoms. Taking a proactive stance helps me to feel that I at least have a little more control over my experiences!

    If anyone else has any tools, I would love to hear about them? Also, I would love to know if you use the PROQOL and if you find it helpful?

    in reply to: Personal relationships #13753

    Many in our Griefline community talk about the distress and confusion at being estranged from family… and this time of the year can make it even more painful. We get bombarded with images of ‘perfect families’ reconnecting and its hard to keep some perspective. It can set you on a spiral of powerful emotions – hurt and confusion, frustration and anger.

    These feelings are all perfectly valid, after all, you’re only human, but it might be reassuring to know that there are plenty of others going through something similar because not all family bonds are unconditionally loving and close.

    Some tips on making this time of year more manageable are; treasure the close relationships you do have and reach out to people who understand estrangement distress. This forum is a great place to start.

    Let us know how you’re going – we’re here for you.

    in reply to: First Responders – Self Care and Mental Wellbeing #13598

    Hi @Sarah, thanks for your self-care tips & link to Darria Long’s TED talk about managing stress.

    This week Victorian Paramedics were placed in a highly stressful situation when a Code Red was declared due to overwhelming calls, forcing them to tackle massive workloads, miss meals and end up in tears.  It’s just one example of the extreme situations all first responders can face, and it can put us at risk for poor mental health outcomes. Fortunately, there are tools which can help.

    The ‘5 Resiliency Skills’ were developed for First Responders.  Skilling up in these areas can lessen compassion fatigue & anxiety and increase your job satisfaction & quality of life:

    1) Self-care and revitalisation
    2) Self-awareness
    3) Eradicating stress
    4) Improved perceptions of self and job
    5) Connection and support

    (Gentry, Baranowsky & Dunning, 2002)

    Here are a few tips for skilling up;
    #2 Self-awareness – try @Sarah’s tip to ‘check-in on yourself’
    #3 Eradicating Stress – try Darria Long’s stress management techniques
    #5 Connection and support – stay engaged on the online forums and reach out to colleagues

    What are some other tips from community members to develop these skills?

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