Stress Management Strategies Especially for Equine Rescuers

Stress Management Strategies Especially for Equine Rescuers Kate Wilhite, Washington State University © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved. Your Pre...
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Stress Management Strategies Especially for Equine Rescuers

Kate Wilhite, Washington State University

© 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Your Presenter

Jesse Winters Senior Director, Community Initiatives ASPCA [email protected]

© 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

What is stress?  Effects on our bodies and minds? Seven 5‐Minute Stress Managers Practice a Stress Manager

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Use the chat to tell us: …the best thing that’s happened to you in the past 24 hours?

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POLL:  Tell us a little more about yourself How long have you been doing equine rescue? • Less than a year • 1-5 years • 6 – 10 yrs • More than 10 years) Do you live on the property? (y/n) Do you have a full-time or part-time job outside of equine rescue work? • Full-time • Part-time • Neither © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

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Types of Stress:

“Good” Acute Chronic

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The point at which the demands upon me exceed my resources to meet them.

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Stress Response

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It’s all in your BRAIN!

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© 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

© 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Chronic Stress Chronic stress is the response of the brain to unpleasant events for a prolonged period over which an individual perceives he or she has no control. It involves an endocrine system response in which occurs a release of corticosteroids. If this continues for a long time, it can cause damage to an individual's physical and mental health. - www.wikipedia.com

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7 Stress Management Techniques ‰ Deep Breathing ‰ Self-Guided Imagery/Visualization ‰ Metabolize ‰ Journaling www.maryannsimonds.com

…..Stress Journal …..“Best thing” Journal ‰ DIY Art Therapy ‰ Take Your Breaks ‰ Transition Time

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Deep Breathing

WHY:   Facilitates the body’s, Relaxation  Response • Helping the autonomic nervous system  return to normal functioning • Including heart rate, digestive  processes, blood pressure, and  hormonal levels

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Deep Breathing TIME:  5‐10 minutes HOW: 1) Get comfortable, either sitting or lying on your back.  If you’re  sitting, let your shoulders drop and keep your back straight. 2) Let your eyes close. 3) Rest one hand on your stomach, and the other on your chest. 4) Take a few breaths like you normally would. 5) Now count to 5 as you inhale through your nose.  Really  expand your chest and belly. 6) Hold for a second. 7) Exhale SLOWLY through your mouth counting to 8. 8) Repeat for several more minutes. © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Metabolize

WHY:  Our body’s natural stress response  dumps stress hormones like adrenaline and  ACTH into our bloodstream to prepare for  flight or flight – both of which are physical  actions.   A few minutes of quick exercise after a  stressful event helps your body metabolize  those hormones and bring your hormone  levels back to normal.

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Metabolize TIME: 5‐15 Minutes HOW: 1) Take a brisk walk around the outside of  the facility  or in the immediate vicinity 2) Go into an arena, tack room, meeting  room or other space  and do jumping  jacks, push‐ups, or running in place

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DIY Art Therapy WHY:

Helps process emotions through creative  expression, engaging both hemispheres of  the brain. TIME:  As much or as little as you want HOW: 1) Purchase any type of blank paper tablet or  notebook and some drawing devices (crayons,  colored pencils, or regular pencils), or get a  coloring book! 2) Draw pictures or images that reflect how you  feel about events that are causing you stress  right now.  © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Take Your Breaks WHY: Helps your body metabolize the  stress hormones in your bloodstream. TIME:  10‐15 minutes HOW: 1) Schedule your breaks ahead of time  with your co‐workers if at all possible. www.giphy.com

2) Leave the premises, including the  grounds (not just the building) – go  for a walk, go sit somewhere, or sit in  your car and practice Deep Breathing  or Visualization! © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Transition Time WHY:  Helps your body metabolize the stress  hormones in your bloodstream and mentally  leave rescue work at the barn or shelter. TIME:  5 ‐15 minutes HOW: Instead of going straight to your next obligation, take  a detour and grab a few minutes of “you” time in‐ between.  Do NOT run an errand!   • Sit in your car or truck  and listen to music for 5 ‐15  minutes, without driving! • Go to a nearby park and take a quick walk, or find a  bench or coffee shop and “just be” • Stop at a bookstore © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Journaling Stress Journal, Appreciation Journal, or Both WHY:  Helps process emotions through  creative expression. TIME:  As much or as little as you want HOW – Stress Journal  1) Decide what format you’d like to use (notebook or  paper, electronic, etc.) 2) Once a day or every few days, spend a few minutes  (amount of time is up to you) and write about what  is causing you stress 3) Include how you felt, both physically and  emotionally 4) Include how you acted in response 5) Describe what you did to make yourself feel better © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Journaling Stress Journal, Appreciation Journal, or Both HOW – Appreciation Journal 1. Decide what format you’ll use (notebook or  paper, electronic, etc.) 2. Day 1 – Either during a break at work, or  before going to bed, reflect on the day and  write down 1‐5 things that were good about  the day, that made you smile, or that made  you happy.   3. Following Days – look for things throughout  the day that you’ll want to include in your  journal that day. © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Self Guided Imagery/Visualization

WHY: Facilitates the body’s Relaxation Response, helping the autonomic nervous return to normal functioning, including heart rate, digestive processes, and blood pressure, and hormonal levels.

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Self Guided Imagery/Visualization TIME: 10-15 Minutes HOW: • Get into a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep.* • Close your eyes and breath deeply. • Picture yourself in a place you find very relaxing…. Where are you? • Focus on your surroundings and your senses

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Self Guided Imagery/Visualization Focus on your surroundings and your senses: • What do you see? What colors are around you? • What smells are in the air? • What sounds do you hear? • What textures do you feel? © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Self Guided Imagery/Visualization

Stay here for a few minutes and enjoy your “surroundings.” When you’re ready to come back, count backwards from 20, and tell yourself that when you get to “1”, you’ll feel alert, calm, and ready to enjoy the rest of your day.

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In the Chat Pick one strategy you will try later today or tomorrow: ‰ Deep Breathing ‰ Self-Guided Imagery/Visualization ‰ Metabolize ‰ Journaling …..Stress Journal …..“Best thing” Journal ‰ DIY Art Therapy ‰ Take Your Breaks ‰ Transition Time © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

Additional Resources BRAIN GAMES and EXERCISES http://www.lumosity.com • Fun, interactive games that build memory, flexibility, speed, attention/focus,  and problem solving COMPASSION FATIGUE/SECONDARY TRAUMATIC STRESS http://www.compassionfatigue.org • Excellent resource on compassion fatigue • Free, downloadable self‐assessment http://www.proqol.org/ • Excellent resource and ProQOL Self‐Assessment STRESS MANAGEMENT http://www.helpguide.org • Loaded with information about stress management techniques © 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.

© 2016 ASPCA®. All Rights Reserved.