Trauma-informed care has become an essential aspect of how educators approach caring and supporting all children, which has shifted educational opportunities and outcomes in a positive direction. To genuinely provide the best care for our students, we also must take care of ourselves – as human beings. Providing high-quality care means we must be reflective of ourselves and those around us. Trauma is not just something our students experience; we as adults experience trauma as well. At unprecedented times like these, we are all experiencing our own form of trauma.
Individuals can experience trauma in forms; situational trauma, psychological trauma, and vicarious trauma. Unpredictable moments in history can cause people to experience one or multiple of those forms of trauma. Regardless of the kind of trauma, it all negatively impacts a person's health by increasing the amount of stress.
Trauma impacts our emotional well-being and can lead to guilt, anger, cynicism, physical illness, social withdrawal, physical/mental exhaustion, loss of attention, loss of motivation, and loss of creativity. It is okay to experience any of these emotional stressors; however, we also must learn to acknowledge and take care of ourselves as we are taking care of others.
Self-care for Instances of Trauma should be focused on actions to restore balance in life. Learning to do a few key activities can help us to embed self-care in our regular routines. To that end, the Illinois State Board of Education recognizes that student well being extends beyond learning and nutrition, we must also focus on the mental/emotional wellbeing of our educators and our students.