February 2018 - Tony Astro - Advisor, Businessman, Consultant

Cross-Cultural Competency Test Part 2

Friday, February 23, 2018

Prime & Safe: Take care of Yourself First. A Personal Wellness Plan as a Counselor by Tony Astro

11:56:00 AM 0
Prime & Safe:  Take care of Yourself First.  A Personal Wellness Plan as a Counselor by Tony Astro

With the strain of our job as consultants or counselors, health and fitness or wellness is very vital to how we communicate, share our time, listen and take care of our clients, or even our friends and family besides our success in counseling or consulting. Vicarious traumatization (VT) also known as compassion fatigue or in mild cases, burnout - could be a result if counselors do not have an appropriate personal wellness plan. As counselors (or consultant), we have to be empathetic, and this kindhearted engagement with disturbed clients and their reports of unpleasant experiences (job loss, bankruptcy, trauma, death, health issues, etc) sometimes drains us. Here are acronyms I created to make it easier for you to remember: Prime Safe:                                             
PRIME:  Physical, Religion, Intellectual, Mental and Emotional

As a prior military Navy career counselor, physical exercise is mandatory considering the remarkable amount of pressure of deployments, combat and everyday duty at an average of 12 hours/day.  Research has shown that regular physical training or exercise serves to protect the immune system.  Physical activities (workout, yoga, breathing) serves as an acceptable way to express anxiety, anger, frustration, feeling out of control, and helplessness (Culligan & Sedlacek, 1980; DeBenedette, 1988; Kirkcaldy & Shephard, 1990; Rosato, 1990; Sutherland & Cooper, 1990).
So for the first proactive measure, a physically strenuous workout twice or thrice a week is essential including a healthy regimen diet. Being said is different from being done. With this hands-on practice of good daily habits, it needs a robust and disciplined control to do it. Being on a team (being in the military is much more accessible, speaking from my 23-year experience) makes it more manageable compared to be an independent counselor because of groupthink accountability. Without accountability or a partner, wavering of this plan is imminent.

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