Workshops were facilitated with Doctors Of The World for their volunteers and staff, as well as those at partner organisations from 2015 to 2017. Each workshop was primarily designed to support the wellbeing of people working with refugees, but also exploring a specific theme (vicarious trauma and self care, coping strategies, mindfulness, reflective writing, psychosomatic). These were free to attend for people working with refugees and migrants. We also provided support for in-house teams.
Summary of the initiative: PDF here
Below are some Relaxation Techniques for quick reference:
Butterfly hug: Self soothing, cross arms over and alternate gentle tapping of the shoulders. You can also stand behind someone and gently alternate tapping of their shoulders (with permission).
Calm place: Think of a time in a place that you felt calm, if you can’t remember one imagine one. Preferably where you are by yourself. What could you see? What can you hear? What temperature is it? Relax with your eyes closed remembering being in that place.
Breathing: When feeling tension rising you can concentrate on breathing, with counting for a longer out breath. Try breathing from the belly, in for 6 seconds and out for 8.
Open palm: If your fist is clenched open your palm, sending a signal to the body / brain that you are relaxed.
Relax the jaw: Touch the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth with your tongue, to help relax your jaw.
Tips for grounding oneself:
- Feel your feet on the floor
- Have a mint or a citrus sweet
- Sip some cold water
- Reflective / free writing
- Remember a place or time you felt calm
- Sit down and take some time to notice three things you can see, hear, and feel where you are now.
The PDF link below is an info. sheet of relaxation techniques:
Free online training materials for humanitarian work regarding stress and resilience can be found here: headington-institute.org/overview