In 2004, I started the Kyer Group Corporation to help professional and non-professional human service providers and family caregivers, who care for, rescue, protect, and help heal our troubled, critically ill, traumatized, and victimized children, youth, adults and seniors.
My mission is to help these helpers and any person who is under any type of stress understand the risks, prioritize the maintenance of their own health first, and subsequently better serve those in their care. My passion for this work grew out of first-hand experience with the secondary and vicarious traumatic stress impacts of meeting the complex and demanding needs of children suffering from cancer and leukemia, veterans with posttraumatic disorders and their families, and physically and emotionally abused children and youth.
I also helped immediate family loved ones greatly challenged with health issues. The result of my lack of knowledge about the syndrome known as “compassion fatigue” and that I was supposed to diligently practice self-care concurrent to serving the needs of others, resulted in my own experience of two episodes of heart failure. In my research to understand what happened to me, and the lessons that came forward, helped me realize the power and importance of higher self-care for those who help others. This is now my mission.
WHATS THE PROBLEM; WHY DOES IT HAPPEN AND WHAT TO [CHOOSE] TO DO DIFFERENTLY FOR YOURSELF
First, acknowledge that you are a professional and/or a family caregiver to people, young and older, who are deeply in need. The myriad of tasks involved in meeting their needs are can be physically and emotionally demanding. Loving them or having a compassionate and empathetic heart to serve/care for and help does not make you immune to the stress impacts on your spirit-mind-body.
When under high demands of continual and chronic stress, our brain has a chemical response that dramatically affects our brain and body function causing such symptoms as….” Being unaware of these factors, or ignoring them as some of us do, often times come with a cost such as shifts in our thinking, emotions, behaviors, relationships, spiritual beliefs, and our physical health
Learning to re-define and redesign your life with self-care practices while fully embracing a healthier life style is imperative. By doing so, you can avoid the potentially serious consequences of self-neglect.
RE-DEFINE YOURSELF AS A VALUED PRIORITY FOR WHOLENESS - RE-DESIGN YOUR CHOICES/WANTS/TIME/ACTIONS
First step: Value yourself! Rethink on the gift of your life; the high value of your personage. You are precious to your creator and special to those who love and enjoy the presence of you. Know that you are sent here with a special purpose. You may have yet to learn what it is, however, in your search for understanding; be open to spontaneous thoughts or inspirations that inform you. In the meantime, tenaciously preserve and nurture all that you are.
Second step: Create space in your life for you. Time does not magically come to you. You must make a plan or a blueprint of how your days and weeks should look so that your “self-care time” is written in stone.
Downshift: Take some stuff off your plate. Drop some of the obligatory non-essential tasks. Make a list of all your tasks and then re-evaluate the importance of them.. It is easy to allow these tasks to become mindless habits that really serve only to make you tired. We are at times doing these tasks because no one else has stepped forward to do them. It just may happen that when we step out of the way, there is room for someone else to step forward. Even if no one does, ask yourself “Is this necessary for me to continue doing?” Think about that. Be honest and wise with your answer and do not allow guilt to determine your answer.
Third step: Design your therapeutic community. I love all of my folks, and I figured out the amount of time I can give to them as needed. This has helped me know which folks to keep closest to me, those who make me laugh, lift my spirits, and have positive energy oozing out of their pores. I want to share in doing activities that are enriching, enjoyable, relaxing, and beautiful. In the more difficult times, which comes to us all, it is those individuals in my community that helps me endure and succeed.
It is rare that this happens, but it had become imperative for me and hopefully it will for you too. Some people in our lives are toxic by nature. They can drain the life out of you and/or want to you wallow waist high in their misery. I have and will try to help them or encourage them to see the glass half full. When all else fails (and it should not take too long to figure this out) lovingly give some toxic people in your life the benediction. I may also invite them to return when they are ready to shine their light.
Fourth step: Do you! Do not follow the pattern of someone else’s life who you may think are experiencing much less stress in their lives. Design your life to create space for you to stop, decompress, exhale, calm down, and smile in and around your responsibilities. It is wise to plan your personal responsibilities to home, parenting, family, friends, and work in ways that protect and nurture your physical energy, mental and emotional calm, joy, and peace of mind. I would love to discuss this more in detail with you
Fifth step: Understand that the systems we work in and/or the services areas we have to navigate to take care of the people we help, won’t necessarily change. We can make suggestions; have discussions, share ideas that may create some shifts. Shifts happen most often when people agree to work and support one another as teams. Nevertheless, the systems are systems and they pose many challenges and distressful experiences for us all.
What we can do is allow ourselves to be helped in order to make healthier changes for ourselves in spite of barriers to our self-care.
That’s where I come in…I help the Helpers.
BEVERLY KYER BIO
Beverly Kyer is the founder and CEO of The Kyer Group Corporation at www.BeverlyKyer.com. Services include agency wide trainings, trauma support groups, crisis debriefing clinics, and individual coaching sessions.
Coming soon is a Compassion Fatigue Certification Program for all those who desire to join the ranks and help the service providers and family caregivers mitigate and reduce the impacts of secondary and vicarious traumatic stress.
Beverly is the author of two books:
Surviving Compassion Fatigue; Help for Those Who Help Others. A Story, The Mission, and A Gift from A Compassion Fatigue Survivor
A Blueprint for Self-Care: Creating Time, Space, and A Healing Sanctuary For Those in The Helping Professions.
She is also a co-author in, Women of Courage, Women of Destiny: Moving from Fear to Faith to Freedom.
All books can be purchased directly from Beverly’s website or purchased on Amazon.co or on BarnesandNoble.com.