Establishing and following a well-rounded program of self-care is mandatory at Above and Beyond. In addition to insisting on it’s good design we devote a group hour every week to test the accountability of every employee’s follow through. We compare the importance of this effective self-care routine to putting on an oxygen mask when an airplane cabin loses pressure. "Put your own mask on first before assisting others," the flight attendant warns us during the safety talk before departure. While it may seem selfish and counterintuitive for us to help ourselves before assisting others in an emergency, there is a simple truth contained in the order to don our own mask first:

We cannot help others to the best of our ability if we are stuck fighting for oxygen.

The same can be said of self-care. If we are not our best self, how can we provide the best support to those around us? At Above and Beyond we do not believe we can. We deem it essential not only to routinely monitor our own well-being for the obvious benefits that come of it, but one of the primary reasons to make sure it is well maintained is so that when an unexpected crisis occurs, as happens often in our industry, we can take care of ourselves and others when our help is really needed.

The Self-Care Program at Above and Beyond is considered an immunization against the toxic effects of compassion fatigue, also known as second-hand shock and secondary stress reaction, which is a type of stress that results from helping or wanting to help those who are traumatized or under significant emotional duress, but unable to do so.....

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