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PG STS Community virtual 01.15.21

Recognizing and Managing
Secondary Traumatic Stress
Participant Guide
Website: peprogram.gsu.edu
Email: cwtc@gsu.edu
The following is a list of statements made by persons who have been impacted by their work
with traumatized clients. Read each statement then indicate how frequently the statement was
true for you in the past seven (7) days by circling the corresponding number next to the
NOTE: “Client” is used to indicate persons with whom you have been engaged in a helping
relationship. You may substitute another noun that better represents your work such as
consumer, patient, recipient, etc.
Never Rarely Occasionally Often Very Often
1. I felt emotionally numb..........................................
4. I had trouble sleeping..........................................
5. I felt discouraged about the future.......................
6. Reminders of my work with clients upset me.......
7. I had little interest in being around others............
8. I felt jumpy............................................................
9. I was less active than usual.................................
10. I thought about my work with clients when I
didn't intend to.............................................
11. I had trouble concentrating...............................
12. I avoided people, places, or things that
reminded meof my work with clients............
13. I had disturbing dreams about my work with
14. I wanted to avoid working with some clients .....
15. I was easily annoyed.........................................
16. I expected something bad to happen................
17. I noticed gaps in my memory about client
2. My heart started pounding when I thought about
my work with clients.....................................
3. It seemed as if I was reliving the trauma(s)
experienced by my client(s)..........................
Intrusion Subscale (add items 2, 3, 6, 10, 13)
Avoidance Subscale (add items 1, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 17)
Arousal Subscale (add items 4, 8, 11, 15, 16)
TOTAL (add Intrusion, Arousal, and Avoidance Scores)
Intrusion Score
Avoidance Subscale
Arousal Subscale
Citation: Bride, B.E., Robinson, M.R., Yegidis, B., & Figley, C.R. (2004). Development and validation of the Secondary Traumatic
Stress Scale. Research on Social Work Practice, 14, 27-35. Trauma
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Traumatic Events
Traumatic events are typically ______________and
They may overwhelm an individual’s sense of safety and
security and leave a person feeling vulnerable and
insecure in their environment.
Sustained and repeated traumatic events typically involve,
chronic, repeated and _______________ exposure.
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Traumatic Stress
Secondary Traumatic Stress
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Traumatic Stress
Traumatic stress reactions include:
• Anxiety, fear, depression
• Intrusive thoughts (dreams, nightmares, flashbacks)
• Physical problems (headaches, ulcers, memory
• Problem behaviors (misusing substances,
withdrawing from others, misplaced anger)
These are _____________ reactions to an abnormal
traumatic event or events.
What are some examples of children or families you work
with who are dealing with traumatic experiences?
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Secondary Traumatic Stress
Secondary traumatic stress is being indirectly exposed to the
trauma experienced by others. We can absorb the trauma of
others as a result of our work and develop symptoms of
secondary traumatic stress (STS).
Secondary Traumatic Stress vs. Burnout
Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS)
The natural consequent behaviors and
emotions resulting from knowing about a
traumatizing event experienced by another
§ Not a crisis event; develops over time.
When helping professionals experience any
of the array of human responses to trauma
as a result of their work with traumatized
§ Symptoms include: negative attitudes
toward work, people, and life itself;
disillusionment; inability to cope with the
work environment.
Professionals who are having symptoms of
STS and not recognizing and managing
them tend to numb out and not enter into
empathetic, caring, working relationships
with the clients.
§ Comes from many sources that do not
involve trauma.
STS is more “treatable” than burnout. With
education and recognition, STS is
§ Physical, mental, emotional exhaustion due
to long-term involvement in emotionally
demanding situations.
§ Most sources of burnout are related to
systemic issues within a work organization.
These include: unbending rules and
procedures, communication problems, long
workdays, demanding and overbearing
boss, too many clients, etc.
Compassion Fatigue
§ Synonymous with STS
§ Reduced capacity or interest in being
empathic or bearing the suffering of
Vicarious Traumatization
§ Another aspect of STS
§ The transformation in the inner
experience of the professional helper
that comes about as a result of empathic
engagement with traumatic material.
§ Changes in the professional’s
“worldview” as a result of exposure to the
trauma experienced by others
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Secondary Traumatic Stress Risk Factors
Exposure to Traumatized Individuals
Trauma History
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Secondary Traumatic Stress Symptoms
STS Symptom Categories
and Mood
STS symptoms are a normal reaction to work with traumatized clients.
Symptoms become a problem when they cause distress and impairment.
Distress and Impairment
Are you bothered by the symptoms?
Are the symptoms influencing your relationships?
Are you withdrawing from activities and losing social support as a result?
Is it impacting how you do your work?
Is it impacting your effectiveness at work?
Are you experiencing different or more frequent physical ailments?
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Case Study: Tamika’s Story
As a child, Tamika’s family experienced several adversities. Tamika’s father had chronic
medical conditions as a result of being shot when he was in his early 20s. He died when
Tamika was 15 years old. According to Tamika, her mother “has never been the same.”
Tamika’s family history influenced her career choice and decision to go into the helping
Tamika was 23 years old when she started working as a case manager at an agency
that provides case management, counseling, and crisis intervention services to children
and families involved in the child welfare system. This was her first job out of college.
She entered her work with great idealism and energy. She wanted to do a good job and
believed in the importance of her work. Tamika also gives dance lessons in an
afterschool program that targets children from low income communities. Tamika has
been involved in dance for most of her life, so this is her way of using something that
she enjoys to positively influence youth.
After completing the required agency training, Tamika received three family cases. She
sought out her supervisor and co-workers when she had questions and felt supported
by the agency. She felt good about her work with these families and believed she had
helped them make positive changes. During the next six months on the job, Tamika was
given an additional ten cases that included families with intensive needs and teens with
behavioral difficulties. Tamika felt frustrated that she could not accomplish everything
she wanted to do with these families. She would make plans with her families, but some
crisis always seemed to get in the way. Also, it was becoming more difficult to find
resources to meet these families’ needs. Either the resource wasn’t available in the
community or the family had no way to get there or to pay for it. Tamika’s paperwork
tripled and her supervisor began to reprimand her for being late with her paperwork.
She began to feel “taken advantage of” by some of the families and “manipulated” by
some of the youth on her caseload.
One Sunday morning, Tamika received a call from her supervisor. The supervisor told
Tamika that one of the children on her caseload, an outgoing 10-year old named Julian,
was beaten up by a group of older boys yesterday. The older boys, who were suspected
of being in a gang, beat Julian so severely that he had to be hospitalized. Tamika had
been working with Julian for the past three months since he was placed in foster care.
The supervisor asked Tamika to provide additional support to Julian’s foster parents
and biological parents.
Tamika spent the next several days trying to support the families and learn more about
what happened to Julian. Tamika went to the hospital to visit Julian. It broke her heart to
see him lying in the bed with bandages and hooked to all sorts of machines. Tamika
learned that Julian suffered a severe head injury. (CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE)
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The police officer said “the boy is lucky to be alive. The doctors don’t know yet what the
long-term effects will be.” Tamika left the hospital crying. When Tamika tried to talk to
Julian’s biological mother, the mother got in Tamika’s face and yelled, “Get out of here.
You don’t care about my baby. You let him get hurt. I ought to kick your ass like those
boys did to my baby.” Julian’s foster parents also blamed Tamika. They said Julian must
have been in a gang and no one told them, which put their entire family at risk.
Over the next month, as a part of the investigation of Julian’s injuries, Tamika heard the
story of what happened to Julian multiple times. She read the police report, the hospital
and doctor’s reports, and she continued to visit with Julian and would listen to his
version of events. She also had to write reports about the incident and verbally re-tell
the incident several times.
For the next several months, Tamika did not sleep well. She wondered constantly what
she could have done to prevent Julian from getting hurt. What had she missed? She
had nightmares where she saw Julian getting beating and his head hitting the concrete
over and over again. For the first time since she started working at the agency, Tamika
called out sick three consecutive days. At work, she would not answer her phone and
instead let the calls go to voicemail so she could learn who was calling before she
talked with them. Tamika made fewer home visits and instead tried to get clients to
come to the office. Tamika also stayed at her desk most of the time and stopped having
lunch with her team members. One of her team members told the group that she and
Tamika “had words” after Tamika accused her of intentionally taking a long time to
make copies and not refilling the copy paper when she was done. The co-worker said
that at first Tamika was just “huffy,” but at the end of the day, Tamika came to her office
and yelled at her about it. Tamika recently had additional locks installed on her front
door at home. It became more difficult for her to get out of bed in the morning and go to
work. She began to ask her supervisor if she could do her paperwork from home. When
she does go into the office, she goes straight home after work and has stopped
teaching her dance classes.
1. How would you distinguish between burnout and STS in Tamika’s story?
2. What, if any, STS risk factors does Tamika have?
3. What, if any, signs of STS symptoms did you identify in Tamika’s story?
4. Are Tamika’s STS symptoms “normal” for the work or is she showing signs of
distress and impairment? Explain your answer.
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ABCs of Self-Care
Self-care is a way to _________________ in your own
world/your own life to prevent the ________________
consequences of STS.
Know your own needs, limits, emotions, and resources
Be aware of stress-related symptoms
Monitor stress symptoms over time
Assess your self-care activities
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STRATEGY 1: Self-Care Assessment
Directions: Using the scale below, rate how frequently you engage in the listed self-care
5 = frequently 4 = occasionally 3 = rarely 2 = Never 1 = It never occurred to me
____ Eat regularly
____ Eat healthy
____ Exercise
____ Get regular medical care for prevention
____ Get medical care when needed
____ Take time off when sick
____ Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity that
is fun
____ Get enough sleep
____ Take vacations or mini vacations
____ Take time for self /time away from telephones
____ Other:
____ Make time for self-reflection
____ Have your own personal psychotherapy or counseling
____ Write in a journal
____ Read literature that is unrelated to work
____ Engage your intelligence in new areas or new activities
____ Decrease stress in your life
____ Notice your inner experience – listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs,
attitudes, and feelings
____ Practice receiving from others
____ Say no to extra responsibilities
____ Other:
____ Spend time with others whose company you enjoy
____ Stay in contact with important people in your life
____ Give yourself affirmations
____ Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places and seek
them out
____ Allow yourself to cry
____ Find things that make you laugh
____ Express your outrage in social action, letters, donations, marches, protests
____ Play with children
____ Other:
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Self-Care Assessment (continued)
Rate how frequently you engage in the listed self-care activities.
5 = frequently 4 = occasionally 3 = rarely 2 = Never 1 = It never occurred to me
____ Make time for reflection
____ Spend time with nature
____ Find a spiritual connection or community
____ Be open to inspiration
____ Cherish your optimism and hope
____ Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of your life
____ Try at times not to be in charge or the expert
____ Be open to knowing
____ Meditate
____ Pray
____ Sing
____ Have experiences of awe
____ Contribute to causes in which you believe
____ Read inspirational literature
____ Other:
____ 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
____ Set limits with clients and colleagues
____ Balance your caseload/workload so no one day or part of a day is “too much”
____ Arrange you work space so it is comfortable and comforting
____ Utilize regular supervision or consultation
____ Negotiate your needs (benefits, pay raise, time off)
____ Have a peer support group
____ Develop a non-trauma area of professional interest
____ Other:
Strive for balance within your work-life and workday
Strive for balance among work, family, relationships, play and rest
SOCIAL SUPPORT SYSTEM – Quality of my social support system. Area of strength or
area of need?
Adapted from: Transforming the Pain: Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization Saakvitne, Pearlman, & Staff of
TSI/CAAP (Norton, 1996)
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STRATEGY 2: Song Playlist
Create a playlist for your phone or computer
Music Builds
Positive feelings
from music as
powerful as sex,
drugs or eating
6 Scientific
Reasons for
listening to music
Music may
increase immune
Music can
provide pain
Sad music can
help you during
hard times
Music helps
reduce anxiety
Follow-up activity: Read about the benefits of music https://www.mindbodygreen.com/017770/6-scientific-reasons-to-add-music-to-your-self-care-regimen.html
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ABCs of Self-Care
Maintaining a balance between personal and professional life means:
Leaving the _________ at the office
Making time to engage in ______that are relaxing and that you enjoy
Having a ___________ life outside of work
Maintaining balance between personal and
professional life
Work-life Integration means blending responsibilities to create a day that
works for you while still maintaining a healthy balance between work and
personal activities
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STRATEGY 3: Choose and begin work-life balance
Choose 1 bold sub-topic title. Read the information listed below the title and
star one item that you can begin to do right away.
37 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance
It's no secret—managing all the things you have to do as an adult is a challenge. From doing
your best on the job to taking care of yourself (and, if you have them, your kids) to trying to see
friends and stay sane, we know you've got a lot on your plate.
And while it's up for debate whether you can "have it all," you certainly ought to be able to
balance everything you've got and live a happy, fulfilling life. To help you out in that pursuit,
we've gathered some of the best advice out there on maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Read the tips below, and start implementing some of them today.
Managing Your Time
1. The most game-changing advice I’ve gotten is this: If you’re truly going to act on your
priorities, you need to dedicate time to them. So, I took a weekly calendar and some crayons,
and mapped out my priorities to create a “typical” week, with time dedicated to each of my
priorities: exercise, work, family time, and so forth. I started with the “big rocks:” the most
important and least flexible responsibilities (I learned this trick from Stephen Covey). For me,
these were work and my children’s sports schedules. Then, I decided when I get my best work
done. For example, I knew that my job required time for “deep-thinking” work, so I dedicated
one day per week to be meeting-free. Alix Hughes
2. One of the biggest struggles is fitting it all in to 24 hours. Waking up at 4 AM gives me extra
hours in the day, and this quiet time allows me to complete projects before the house wakes
up. Hannah Morgan
3. To make time for hobbies, passions, and relationships outside of work, I've made sure to
have a short version of what I'd ideally love to do for busy weeks. I'd rather have a nice long
dinner with a friend if I can, but during a busy week, catching a 45-minute coffee during the day
is better than not seeing friends at all. I love biking, but it requires more time than I have most
weeks, so I've picked up running (reluctantly), since I can do it when I just have 20
minutes. Alex Cavoulacos
@dailymuse reduce or eliminate multi-tasking. Be where you are!
— kylie sachs (@tismoi) November 24, 2013
5. Instead of multi-tasking, I look for ways to overlap things. Best example: When my kids were
little, I had no time for hobbies, but I was dying to try birdwatching. So I introduced it to my
seven-year old son, thinking he might like it, too. He was hooked, and so we started doing
birdwatching together. It became the perfect overlap of time together with a hobby for me. Kate
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6. We need to elongate the time frame upon which we judge the balance in our life, but we need
to elongate it without falling into the trap of the "I'll have a life when I retire, when my kids have
left home, when my wife has divorced me, my health is failing, I've got no mates or interests
left." A day is too short; "after I retire" is too long. There's got to be a middle way. Nigel Marsh
Taking Time for You
7. It's important to remember that free time doesn't have to be available time. In other words,
just because Wednesday night is empty on your calendar, doesn't mean you have to say "yes"
when your co-worker asks you to go to an event with her. It’s important to remind yourself that
you can turn invitations down for no other reason than you want that time to yourself, that your
free time can be just that—free. Erin Greenawald
8. When I have a good chunk of time to myself, I sometimes feel obligated to use it to get other
things done, like errands or phone calls—but I’ve learned that the only way to use that time to
truly reduce my stress level is to do something totally for me. A yoga class or quick burst of
exercise is a good method to calm your spinning head, or enjoy some light-hearted TV or an ice
cream or coffee date with a friend. You could also spend an hour playing with the puppies at the
pet store, indulging in the total silence of a library, or browsing for random treasures at a thrift
store. Jessica Taylor
9. I block out "me time" in the early evening. Even if I know that I'm going to get back online later
and work, I realized that I'm a lot more likely to go to the gym, see friends, or cook myself a real
dinner if I give myself 7-9 PM "off" to do those things before getting back online. If I finish all my
work first, or even "just do my high priority work"—it's 11 PM before I stop, and I am realistically
not going to go to the gym or call anyone up or even cook, I'm just going to finish my work for
the night and crash. Melissa McCreery
I use my lunchtime to do some fun stuff - short market/store trips current
fave #worklifebalancetips
— Kitchenbutterfly (@Kitchnbutterfly) November 23, 2013
11. Even if I’m feeling busy, I remind myself that time away from work and the computer is
energizing and important. Scheduling downtime requires a combination of time management
(deciding when else to get the work done), working ahead when possible (so I have more time
later), and keeping a to-do list. Miriam Salpeter
Having a Social Life
12. While you usually reserve fun things for the weekends, plan at least one enjoyable activity
during the week. You'll be able to head into your work week with something to look forward to
and have a way to blow off some steam if the week starts off too strong. Katie Douthwaite
@dailymuse I look for activities that incorporate work and play so I can kill two birds with one
stone, such as mixers and networking events — Desirée M. (@ImDesi) November 23, 2013
14. Schedule recurring social activities, like a monthly book club or weekly dinner with your best
friends. By having regular activities like this written into your calendar, you'll be able to plan
around them (instead of planning your social life around work).
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@dailymuse Set times for yourself. If you reserve an evening for plans with friends/family, you'll
focus more during the day.— Melanie Albert (@melealbert) November 24, 2013
Managing Work
16. You’ll be hard pressed to find a boss who will object too much to you working on your off
hours (unless she’s required to by law), but that same boss will be just as impressed if you can
do the work in the eight (OK, 10) hours each day you’re there already. Make the most of the
time you have in the office, and leave the rest for tomorrow. Jennifer Winter
17. If you start telling people you need to leave at a certain time, you’ll be much more likely to
do so. Make the commitment to yourself, and then share it with others: As you discuss plans
and assignments throughout the day, tell your colleagues, “I’ve got to be out of here on time
tonight, so if you need something, let me know by 3 PM.” Try this method one day, then
another, and then the next. Eventually, you’ll retrain your colleagues to expect you to leave on
time every day. Lea McLeod
18. Ever find yourself staying at work because you don't have a reason not to? Make reasons to
leave. Join groups or sign up for exercises classes that meet after work so you have to sign out
at a reasonable hour. Make plans with friends ahead of time so you can't back out and just stick
around the office.
Methods of #renewal (meditation) coupled with finding projects in the work environment that
are #enjoyable help maintain balance— Paul A. Mabelis (@CognitiveLibert) November 23, 2013
20. You have to plan when you'll leave the office from the beginning of the day. That means
understanding what needs to get done for the day and getting it done first so you aren't
scrambling after hours to finish up. Also, block out the last 20 minutes before you plan to leave
to wrap up loose ends, so you aren't trying to send "one more email" after you were already
supposed to head out of the office.
21. Sometimes when you feel surrounded by work, it’s because, well, you’re surrounding
yourself with work. So, be deliberate about taking time before work, after work, or on your lunch
break to step away from the office. Call your significant other, your mom, or your best
friend, and ask what’s going on with them, avoiding the temptation to discuss anything even
remotely work-related. Your job may be your focus for the rest of the day, but for a few minutes,
move it to the back burner and focus on something (anything) else. Sara McCord
22. Consider some highlights of your perfect day. What would you really enjoy doing? What’s
absolutely necessary for you to get done? Identify what tools or extras would make the
mandatory work easier to complete. Aromatherapy while you grade papers? A powerful run?
Figure out what can help you, and build it into your day. Natalie Jesionka
Enjoying Weekends and Vacation
23. Instead of saving all of your life chores for Sunday, get them out of the way as soon as
possible, either by doing them first thing Saturday morning or dispersing them throughout the
week. That way, instead of spending your last few hours of free time on Sunday night scrubbing
the bathtub, you'll be able to fill it with something fun and relaxing. Katie Douthwaite
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24. Carve out some time on the weekends—at least a few hours, but ideally a whole day—to
stay away from screens. Put your computer and phone away and turn off the TV, then do
something physical or creative that you really love. Go for a run. Draw. Write. Your mind will be
a little more refreshed and a little sharper by the end of it.
25. I always faced a double-edged sword on the weekends: I loved the feeling of being ahead
on Monday morning if I worked during the weekend, but I hated the feeling of losing any of my
precious weekend to work. Then, I started doing some of the more mindless work on my plate
while I watched a movie on Sunday nights. I still felt like I got a full weekend, but felt ahead of
the game come Monday morning. Erin Greenawald@dailymuse
Using my vacation time! For me traveling is relaxing and mentally enriching. I come back to
work happier and more focused.— Brandi Kolmer (@brandikolmer) November 23, 2013
27. The nature of many jobs is that there will never be an easy time to take time off, no matter
how well you plan for it in advance. But that's no reason to not go at all. It's in your employer's
best interests to have well-rested and recharged employees, and vacation time is a benefit that
you've earned, just like salary, so you should use it. So instead of waiting for the perfect time—
which may never come along—decide that you will use your vacation time this year, and make
the question one of what accommodations should be made, rather
than whether accommodations can be made. Alison Green
28. Before you leave for vacation, ask your boss if she expects you to check emails or listen to
voice messages while you’re gone. While it’s often necessary to stay at least a little connected,
make sure you proactively set some boundaries. Feel free to let your boss know that you’ll only
be able to check your phone and email occasionally—say, once a day, or a few times a week.
Most bosses will be fine if you only respond to critical messages until after you return to the
office. Lynze Wardle Lenio
29. If you don't have enough PTO to take a full vacation, try taking a day off here and there for a
stay-cation or long weekend. It may not seem like much, but taking just a day or two to break
out of the 9-to-5 grind can do wonders.
Making Time for Family
30. There is a phrase used by Hillary Clinton that stems from an African proverb: “It takes a
village.” And it does! Getting comfortable with others lending you a hand helps not only to give
you comfort that your kids are in good hands, but it helps take the stress away. I chose to have
live-in help because I had an unpredictable schedule, lots of travel, late hours, and evening
entertaining, and I couldn’t have someone who had to look at the clock or bus schedule. But no
matter what type of babysitter, nanny, or daycare choices you make, accepting that you just
cannot do it all, single-handedly, is the key. Cathie Black
31. When my baby was five months old, my husband and I decided to sleep train him (which
basically meant letting him cry it out for three nights in a row). Those nights were extremely
hard, but the upside has been nothing short of amazing. Not only do I know that each night from
7:30 PM to 6:30 AM I'll have time to do whatever I want—eat dinner with my husband, catch up
on email, watch House of Cards—but our son is so much more rested and in all around better
spirits. I know sleep training can be controversial, but as a working parent, I have no doubt it
was one of the best things I've done for myself, my relationship, and my baby. Dorothy
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32. If you or your parenting partner is able to web-surf at work, use your downtime to set up
auto-ship services for the essentials: diapers, toilet paper, paper towels, and so on. Services
like Amazon Prime and Diapers.com sell these items on the cheap, and they’ll be delivered to
your door with free shipping. Rikki Rogers
33. Flexible hours enabled by technology can allow parents to perform well at their jobs and
take care of young children at the same time. If you're an employee, talk with your boss about
how working from home could boost your productivity, remembering to share some specific
examples of how your work will improve. Richard Branson
Getting Chores Done
34. Make your grocery run as efficient as possible by making a list coordinated to aisles or store
sections. Take advantage of coupon apps (many grocery stores have them). And if the whole
family has to come along, get everyone involved: If you can walk, you can shop. Rikki Rogers
35. By doing my least favorite chore at the beginning of each week, it feels entirely more
manageable, not to mention frees me of the burden throughout the rest of my week. The feeling
of work burnout tends to increase as the week moves forward, so by frontloading your work
week evenings with your least favorite tasks, you can reserve the more enjoyable work night
activities for the end of the week. Monday is for laundry, Tuesday is for vacuuming and bills,
Wednesday is for dry cleaning, Thursday is for a DVR marathon. And so on. Rachell Buell
36. When trying to fit more in, minimize the amount of time doing anything you have to do. Try
setting a goal to have dinner ready in 30 minutes or less. You'd be surprised how many things
can be cooked in 25-30 minutes, and it's a surefire way of getting time back several times a
week. Bonus points for cooking several meals' worth on Sunday night and only having five
minutes of reheat time.
37. Get creative with what chores you can outsource (and therefore avoid!). There are plenty of
services out there that will take care of your least favorite tasks for you, from cleaning and
cooking to laundry and shopping. Check out our list of tasks to outsource now to get you
Reprinted with permission for use from the Muse
Follow-up activity: Finish reading the rest of the article on your own and add additional
strategies to your self-care plan. https://www.themuse.com/advice/37-tips-for-a-betterworklife-balance
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Maintaining connections with people who
will support you and using this support
STRATEGY 4: Map your support system
• Use the Map on the next page.
• Identify your supportive family, friends, and organizations (outside of your
• Identify your reliable alliances (at work)
• Create a map with yourself in the middle of these relationships.
• Write at least 3 specific ways to use these relationships to help you manage
job-related stress.
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My Support Map
at work
Strategy 1
Strategy 2
Strategy 3
STRATEGY 5: Reflect on the Meaningfulness of Your Work
Meaningfulness of Work Reflection Questions
What do I love about my job?
Why did I choose this profession?
Why do I continue to go to work every day?
Where do I want to lead others?
What would I like to accomplish in my career/life?
What three words would I like others to use to describe me at my
retirement dinner?
• Bonus Question: What is one positive experience I’ve had with
helping a client (child, family)? How did that experience make me feel?
Secondary Traumatic Stress
January 2021
STRATEGY 6: Create a Self-Care Plan
Directions: Use this worksheet to develop your plan for self-care.
§ Your self-care self-assessment ---needs and strengths in each of the domains
§ Your assessment of your support system outside of work and at work (peers and supervisor)
§ The strategies discussed in the STS workshop
Share your plan with someone in your support system who can help keep you accountable
1. Identify at least three things in each area that you can commit to doing.
In my personal life, I am making a commitment to myself to do the following regarding self-care:
(Consider all areas: physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual)
In my professional life, I am making a commitment to myself to do the following regarding self-care:
Work-Life Balance
I am making a commitment to myself to do the following to create better work-life balance.
Choose one strategy in each category that you will commit to try during the next week.
Highlight or underline these strategies.
Secondary Traumatic Stress
January 2021
Secondary Traumatic Stress and Self-Care Resources
The 10 Best Self-Care Apps of 2020
Infographic – Understanding Secondary Trauma
Article – Are You at Risk for Secondary Traumatic Stress?
Article – Transforming Compassion Fatigue into Compassion Satisfaction: Top 12 SelfCare Tips for Helpers
Video – Symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress in Staff
Video – Symptoms of Secondary Traumatic Stress in Staff - Drowning in Empathy: The
Cost of Vicarious Trauma
Article – Self Care for Educators http://tsaforschools.org/_static/tsa/uploads/files//selfcarenctsn.pdf
Secondary Traumatic Stress
January 2021
Bride, B. E. (2007). Prevalence of secondary traumatic stress among social workers.
Social Work, 52:1, pp 67-28. Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators | October 2008 The
National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Martinez, N. (January, 2017). The Art of Achieving a Work-Life Balance: Quotes From
Some of the Most Successful People Who Prove You Can Do It All.
Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M.P. (2001). Job Burnout. Annual Review of Psychology,
52:1, 397-422
The Muse Editor. 37 Tips for a better work-life balance.
Pryce, J., Shackelford, K., & Pryce, D. (2007). Secondary traumatic stress and the child welfare
professional. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books, Inc.
Saakvitne, K.W., & Pearlman, L.A. (1996). Transforming the pain: A workbook on vicarious
traumatization. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
Secondary Traumatic Stress for Educators: Webinar (September, 2012). The National Child
Traumatic Stress Network. https://learn.nctsn.org/mod/nctsnwebinar/view.php?id=9447
Shackelford, Kimberly K. (Spring,2002). Occupational hazards of work in child welfare:
Direct trauma, secondary trauma, and burnout. Secondary Trauma and Child Welfare
Workforce. Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, School of Social Work
University of Minnesota.
Souers, K. & Hall, P. (2016) Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for Creating a TraumaSensitive Classroom. Alexandria, VA: ASCD books.
Thompson, P. (March 8, 2015). Six scientific reasons to add music to your self-care regimen.
Secondary Traumatic Stress
January 2021