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I try to be thoughtful about how much news and media I consume.

When the messages and images we receive are filled with war, destruction, meaningless and incomprehensible violence – it can be hard to find the meaning, lightness, and joy in the world.

Yesterday I watched my kindergartener and her schoolmates singing Matisyahu’s ‘One Day’ and it was the brief moment of calm and beauty I needed to momentarily feel like the world still has hope.

“One Day”

One day..
This all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we’ll all be free, and proud to be
Under the same sun, singin’ songs of freedom…

Listen to “One Day” by Matisyahu

Before the pandemic began, those of us who are caregivers experienced the challenge of staying compassionate and emotionally engaged in hard the moments – whether caring for our kids, aging parents, patients, learners or other vulnerable people in our community.

The pandemic compounded the stress we have experienced. This could have been through personal illness, ongoing uncertainty, or a lack of sense of safety but also through the impact of financial challenges, under and over employment, and less autonomy in how we move through the world. Despite our many coping mechanisms, stress and trauma impact our nervous systems and take a cumulative toll.

To help us understand the ways in which exposure to other people’s trauma impacts us, we partnered with Laura van Dernoot Lipsky of the Trauma Stewardship Institute. Her focus is on what we can do to take care of ourselves while caring for others.

For many of us, supporting people through trauma is core to who we are and what we do. However, this work can also result in secondary (or vicarious) trauma to us, the caregivers.

VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Addressing the Toll of the Pandemic on Healthcare Staff
Facilitator: Laura van Dernoot Lipsky, Trauma Stewardship Institute
Date: June 21
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.

Resources to Cope with Trauma

Warning Signs: Responses to Trauma

The Trauma Stewardship Institute workshop we are offering addressing the toll of this trauma on our community and walks us through the warning signs of our potential responses to trauma exposure.

See image of warning signs

Map for Managing One’s Day with Intentionality

Through understanding what to be aware of in our own responsiveness to trauma exposure, we can begin to be intentional about how we are moving through our days so that we can show up as our best selves.

See image of map

Why come together to address our collective trauma?

I am reminded of bell hooks’ words, “…rarely if ever, are any of us healed in isolation. Healing is an act of communion.”

Pease join us and register for the live workshop on June 21, from 4-6 p.m. If needed, watch a recording of the earlier March session. I have found myself making positive changes in my own life after working with the team from the Trauma Stewardship Institute.

One of my favorite changes has been breaking the habit of reaching for my phone when I first wake up and taking three minutes (ideally with a cup of coffee in hand) to just pause and look out the window at nature before I jump into the day. I hope you can join us for the next live session in June and find your own small intentional practices that can help shift how you move through your day.

With gratitude,

Anne Browning, PhD
Associate Dean for Well-Being, UW School of Medicine
Founding Director, UW Resilience Lab
Affiliate Assistant Professor, UW College of Education