Planning our self-care is a proactive step to looking after our mental and emotional wellbeing.
As a person with a lived experience of suicide, choosing to engage in suicide prevention activities and sharing your very personal insights, perspectives and expertise, is a decision that deserves careful consideration.
We know that those of us who have lived experience also have developed incredible resilience and heightened insight into our own emotional wellbeing. Our desire to help others can however sometimes lead to us giving a lot of ourselves to others, which needs to be proactively managed and reviewed.
We also understand that a lived experience of suicide never leaves us, and that we can experience different emotions of varying intensity throughout any given time period. We may experience these reactions while preparing to be involved, while participating, or even in the days or weeks afterwards.
So, it is really important that we take time to identify some potential activations for strong emotional responses, and plan to manage them. Furthermore, accepting that we live in a world of multiple stressors, not just our contribution through our lived experience, it is equally helpful to have some strategies in place to manage daily stress levels.
We don’t plan for a fire when the fire breaks out, we have a plan in place, and it is reviewed regularly. And so, it is for ourselves . . . the time to plan for our self-care is before we actually need to activate it!