Assessing one’s own learning achievements and competencesLearning to learnOpenness and readiness to accept various perceptions of one’s competences and learning achievementsReflects on various perceptions and maintaining or recovering their own emotional balance after-wards

Sustaining Self-Care as a Learner

In this article you will assess your self-care strategies and you will be inspired to develop them.

Why have I chosen this tool? 

Why self-care is important?
Nowadays our life stays continuously under pressure. The speed of communication, transportation and information are increasing every day. Nowadays we die from completely different diseases than our ancestors did.

To catch up, we are pushing the limits. This provokes hormonal revolution in our bodies, which produces too much hormones of stress, not having enough time to upload enough hormones of joy. 

Why it is important for a trainer?

The work of a trainer requires constant dealing with unexpected behaviors of participants, unexpected dealing with co-trainers and organizers. The trainer usually works in different settings, in different cities and countries. Many trainers cope with a stress caused by self- criticism – „am I good enough? Am I prepared enough?

Sustaining self-care as a lifelong learner is a dominant feature of being a professional trainer. 

Content:

Dr. Robert Sapolsky  suggests to make  a mental list of the sorts of things we find stressful. No doubt you would immediately come up with some obvious examples—traffic, deadlines, family relationships, money worries. What else?

A mental list of the sorts of things you find stressful:
-…………………………………………………………..
-…………………………………………………………..
-…………………………………………………………..

Dr. Robert Sapolsky quotes two kind of stress: short-term and chronical one.

„If you are that zebra running for your life, or that lion sprinting for your meal,

your body’s physiological response mechanisms are superbly adapted for dealing with such short-term physical emergencies. For the vast majority of beasts on this planet, stress is about a short-term crisis, after which it’s either over with or you’re over with. When we sit around and worry about stressful things, we turn on the same physiological responses—but they are potentially a disaster when provoked chronically. A large body of evidence suggests that stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions.”

VIDEO: Here you can listen to an 1 hour long lecture summarizing his book „Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”:

Posted by BeckmanInstitute

So, basically, to survive as learner we need to learn how to sustain a positive energy and effectively deal with stress. Which means to appropriately turn on the stress-response, and in an appropriate moment to turn it off. If any of those doesn’t work in your case , it is better to work more seriously on your stress management. As Dr. Robert Sapolsky mentioned: „If you cannot turn off the stress-response at the end of a stressful event, the stress-response can eventually become damaging. It increases the risk of being sick.”

Excercise

Recall a particular moment when you felt sustained or energized, especially within your group, while leading the training/workshop. 

  1. Moment……………………
  2. Moment…………………….
  3. Moment……………………How could you arrange the space during your working time as a trainer, so your energy would be more in balance? 

“What Sustains You? – how to stay in a peak state?”

a. How long are you healthy during the year? Notice any patterns in health.

  1. Are you monitoring your diet? What tendency do you have?
  2. What are you focusing at : result or progress? According to Tony Robins „The secret to real happiness is progress. Progress equals happiness.”
  3. How much do you sleep per day? How much do you sleep per day while delivering the training? Do you have control over this?
  4. Do you have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve in your life?

Your answers:
……………………….
……………………….
……………………….

Strategies by Robert Sapolsky (from the more general perspective).

  1. Successful aging – shows that early childhood as well as time of committed motherhood give an amazing power which balance the stress of aging in the later years. The same goes with balanced lifestyle, minimized usage of addictive substances and stable relationship. Those are the criteria that could minimize your stress in later ages.How can you manage your lifestyle?  …………………………….
  2. Coping with Catastrophic Illness – the ability to displace a major worry onto something less threatening. Denial instead focused on the seemingly good, healthy moment. According to study,  lack of a stress-response in a critical situation is when people are religious and delegating the fate into ‚Gods hands’.How creative are you in switching the perspectives? …………………………….
  3. Differences in Vulnerability to Learned Helplessness – humans with the perception that they are the masters of their own destiny—are more resistant in experimental models of learned
    Research shows, that the more life experience person has the more resilient becomes, and at the same time becomes less vulnerable.What can you do to enrich your life experience?   …………………………….
  4. In social context – ability to build coalitions, and the ability to walk away from provocations is minimizing the stress response. Also being aware of your own character and temperament would safe lots of good energy.
  5. Everyday techniques decreasing the stress response:
  • Simple exercises – are great to counter stress. First, it decreases your risk of various metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, and therefore decreases the opportunity for stress to worsen those diseases. Next, it reduces tension if you actually turn on the stress-response for that purpose, instead of merely stewing in the middle of some time-wasting meeting, enhances mood and blunts the stress-response.My set of everyday exercises: ……………………………………..
  • Meditation (15/30 min a day) – pretty good for your health, decreasing glucocorticoid levels, sympathetic tone, and all the bad stuff that too much of either can cause.
  • My way of mediation is …………………………………………..

Reflection

1.What is your point of view on a stress management and sustaining self-care?

2. If you would write this article, what other elements would you mention?

3. How would you describe sustaining self-care from your everyday practice? What would it be?

Author of the article: Dagna Gmitrowicz

Dagna Gmitrowicz – a senior trainer in the field of nonformal education, conducting international/national training and facilitating conferences since 2001. Creator of innovative educational tools and curriculum – Academy of Nonformal Education (PAJP), TOSCA training cycle, learning cycle in BECC Bridge to Cultural Centres, Colours and Needs cards, and many more. Member of several international trainers’ pools (It’s up to Me, TOSCA, European Solidarity Corp Polish NA pool and other). The member of the International Society for Self-Directed Learning after giving a lecture during SSDL Symposium 2020 in USA/Florida. Dagna Gmitrowicz is also a professional painter, and performer actively participating in a cultural scene in Germany and Poland, actively supporting cultural events and projects.
Website: www.dagna.space
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dagnagmitrowicz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dagna.space
TOY profile: https://www.salto-youth.net/tools/toy/dagna-gmitrowicz.1048/
Click here to read more about Dagna Gmitrowicz

Read more from this author

Bookmark(0)
Source
Nico Amador, Training for ChangeWhy Zebras Don't Get Ulcers -Revised Edition, Robert M. SapolskyTraining for Change Based on a design from Claudia Horwitz and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button