Self care is the act of doing an activity you personally enjoy in order to preserve your mind and body. In the field of sexual violence, self care is especially important to remember to fit into our schedules. The exposure to trauma and disclosures can lead to vicarious trauma or secondary trauma. Self-care is something you do for yourself and can look different for each of us. Remember: you cannot best support others if you aren’t supporting yourself.
Vicarious or secondary trauma is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as trauma-related stress reactions and symptoms resulting from exposure to another individual’s traumatic experiences, rather than from exposure directly to a traumatic event.
Everyone’s list for self-care will look different. Grab a pen and take 5 minutes to begin writing your own self-care list. Take your list and build on it. Use it regularly — self-care does not need to only be used when you reach your emotional limit, your physical and mental health are always a priority.