All Kinds of News for September 13, 2017
During the August 2017 Wilderness Therapy Symposium in Park City, Utah, Moonridge Academy's Executive Director Tawny Thomas presented to a packed room on Self Care and Avoiding Burnout. She was accompanied by Educational Consultant Shayna Abraham and Admissions Director for True North Wilderness Courtney Merrill. Tawny and her team discussed the unavoidable stresses and responsibilities of working within treatment and caring for vulnerable populations.
Because treatment is high energy and focus, and the stakes are high, many professionals fall victim to burnout by overextending themselves and not implementing self-care and balance. Treatment providers are invariably teaching adolescents and families the importance of taking care of themselves and respecting their limits, so it's important that they go beyond teaching, and live and model those lessons as well. Most professionals admit to not only regularly working from home after hours, but also taking work with them on vacations and weekends, never turning their phones off, and finding themselves in frustrating cycles of prioritizing work responsiveness over family time.
A survey completed during the seminar revealed that over 70% of the attendees not only leave their work cell phones on during the night, but most also check for emails and messages at least once in the middle of the night, and almost everyone checks first thing in the morning. This constant level of arousal and anticipation introduces anxiety, fatigue, and only feeds into more of the same.
An obvious conclusion is that these professionals are less effective when they are stretched thin, so self-care and "me time" actually translates to better care for their clients and families. Moonridge Academy is working to be more careful with the workloads given to employees, to encourage them to unplug outside of work, to support days off, and to not feed into the "busy is best" mentality. Wouldn't it be great if the query "How are you?" didn't have to be met with the expected response of "I'm soooo busy and stressed”? Instead they could respond with the goodness and self-focus they are balancing their lives with.
Find what recharges you, whether that be meditation, reading a book, a 30 minute walk, or dedicated play time with your children - and bring that back into your daily routine. Encourage and praise your coworkers and clients when they practice self-care. Invest in you so you can bring the best to yourself, your family, and your clients.
About Moonridge Academy
Moonridge Academy is a CERTS Program in beautiful Southern Utah with 16 beds, and is specifically designed for younger girls, ages 11-15. Younger girls need a younger environment, without the influence of older girls' more sophisticated or advanced issues. Moonridge takes a young approach to therapy and intervention, even our DBT program is taught and delivered at this specific age range level. Moonridge is intensive residential treatment for girls with issues of trauma, emotional regulation, depression, family conflict, and beginning stages of self-harm or substance experimentation. Traditional schooling is provided and Moonridge uses play and laughter to connect, a warm family environment to protect, and deep therapy to inspire and create change