10 ways to help each other survive (or maybe endure)

I recently was asked to talk to a healthcare team about self-care. Instead, I suggested 10 ways to help each other. I started with the word “survive”. I realized that “endure” sounds more encouraging, or hopeful, or long-term. But I’m still thinking about survive.)

1. Remember that we each survive differently, because

2. “Survive” means different things to each of us, because

3. We are each eachs, distinguished by generation, culture, enneagram, Myers Briggs, Rubin’s Tendencies, spiritual gifts, voices in our heads, family stories, place in life, love languages. As result, remember that we survive differently.

4. Acknowledge that there is disruption in the cultures we are part of, family, congregation, departmental, organizational, regional, national.

5. Acknowledge that this is hard.

6. Banish the word “just” as in, “You just need to” or “If you would just” or “It’s easy, just do this.”

7. The effects of stress, according to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory, relate to physical health: “You have a high or very high risk of becoming ill in the near future.” So a team with lots of stress, like a team working in healthcare these days, can anticipate illness through no individual fault.

8. Remember that in our theological traditions, there is hope.

9. Sometimes, helping with tasks, not words, matters.

10. Tiny acts matter. (Getting the cup of coffee or tea, tidying up the share space) And tiny acts of respecting agency matter.

A bonus 11. There is no shame in calling a time out, in tapping out for a bit.


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