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Self-care tips for working in safeguarding

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In your role as DSL, you’ll come across challenges and may be exposed to stressful and traumatic circumstances. Sometimes you will hear stories which might make you feel shock, anger, sympathy, disbelief or sadness. It’s normal to have an emotional response, however emotions can make it difficult for us to recognise or appropriately deal with certain situations. 

Self-care is about actively looking after your own mental health and wellbeing, so that you can effectively support the people you work with. 

Self-care looks different for everyone, but here are five tips to help you.

Take care of yourself

Getting good sleep, nutrition and exercise matters. Take regular breaks. Pause and ask for help when you start feeling worn out either mentally or physically. Accepting your limits is not a sign of weakness. 

Find your support network

You need other people. Make sure you have time for the people who support you – close colleagues, family or close friends. Help each other to recognise how you behave when you’re stressed and tell-tale signs to watch out for, so you can support each other.

Recognise your changing emotions

Break with the tradition of hiding emotions. Pay attention to any changes in your feelings, attitudes and beliefs. If you spot changes to your personal motivations or feelings about what you can achieve or signs of personal stress, speak up.

Set boundaries and limits

‘No’ can be a hard word to hear, and sometimes even harder to say. We need to respect our own boundaries of what we can and cannot take on. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ when needed.

Ask for help

You’ll always be learning, so never be afraid to ask for help. It’s one of the best strategies to keep yourself safe. You can always find others who can help or provide ideas and guidance you haven’t considered. 


Page last edited Sep 30, 2019

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