Remember ABC…….A is Awareness, B is Balance, C is Connection
A : Awareness
To intervene in vicarious trauma, Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) members and staff should be aware of what is happening in your body, mind and emotions throughout the day. Stop what you are doing and notice how your body is feeling, and how you are feeling emotionally and mentally. Observe how your body or emotions react to stress. Learn how stress affects your personal life and work. Be honest with yourself, and don’t deny or overlook signs of stress.
Next, MMRC members and staff can create balance by addressing physical, emotional or mental discomfort through one or more of the self-care techniques. The primary requirements in creating and maintaining balance are to take care of yourself, take time for yourself and replenish your energy. One of the simplest and most effective ways to mitigate stress is through deep breathing. When you become aware of tension in your body or emotions, remember to breathe deeply into your nose and exhale fully through mouth until you feel calmer and more relaxed. When your work requires you to sit for long periods of time, set a timer and get up and move every 45 minutes to an hour. It is especially helpful to go outside for a quick walk and to breathe fresh air. You can find additional suggestions for movement in the pages of this section. Other practices that form a strong foundation for a self-care plan include meditation, prayer, affirmations or positive self-talk, journaling, self-reflection, exercise, hydration, healthy eating, humor, hobbies, and other fun activities.
Finally, making and maintaining strong relationship connections is an important component of good self-care. Notice if you are isolating yourself at work, at home or in your community. Make time for relationships in your personal and professional life. Participate in therapy, faith or social groups. Ask for help.