How I Guide Front-line Workers in Support-Based Roles to Care for Themselves

Today I am launching my business as a Facilitator, Speaker, and Coach. 

After facilitating workshops and leading programming on topics of equity, anti-oppression, empowerment, sexual health education, and self-care over the course of 8 years, I'm taking the leap to bring together my passion for teaching and coaching into a business that supports professionals who care for others in their line of work.

I coach individual clients, facilitate groups, and work with organizations to help caregivers, front-line workers, and professionals in in support-based roles make time for themselves in their schedules so that they can manage burnout, establish boundaries, and do what they love.

The common thread in my activism, M.Ed research, teaching practice, volunteer work, and workshop content has been empathy: being able to understand and feel what someone else is going through, and guide others to connect through empathy and care. My recent focus on self-care in my past few workshop offerings with ETFO Halton and the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women sparked my passion for moving forward with developing programming specifically for empaths working in in support-based roles.

Because I know we need this work. So many of us are navigating burnout and exhaustion because we don't think we can or deserve to make time for ourselves in our schedules.

Empaths are intuitive, lead with their heart, feel things deeply, and have an ability to understand and connect with someone else's story, experiences, and emotions. Empaths tend to be driven to professional work that involves helping and supporting others, like teaching, counselling, front-line crisis work and customer service roles. 

Throughout the past 8 years in my professional and volunteer work I was in support-based roles giving and supporting clients, students, and community members. In my personal life I was the friend who took every call and made time for everyone and everything before myself. I've been the mediator, the supporter, the listener. From a young age being available to support others became so commonplace that somewhere along the way I took on 'being constantly available to others" as an identity. So when I, inevitably, didn't have the capacity to take every phone call, help every friend, or give to every organization, I felt guilty, fearful, and worried I was letting people down. I had let the support role consume me to the point of my mental health deteriorating. 

Empaths professionals supporting others in their line of work, and who find themselves also giving and giving in their personal lives, need to believe that they are allowed to take time for themselves, to unplug and rest, to prioritize their mental health and wellness, and to assert boundaries.

Setting boundaries is the secret sauce to surviving and thriving as an empath. We give by our nature. Establishing healthy boundaries is our ticket to self-love, refilling our energy cup, and making time in our schedules for ourselves. 

Because you are worthy of the same care you give others. 

I am thrilled to be launching this work and rolling out new programming over the next few months to support those who support others. I want to help you get comfortable saying no, feel confident asserting and maintain boundaries, and make time in your schedule for yourself - without fueling guilt.

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Take a read of my Workshops and Training page for available programming for your organization, staff, or group. My Coaching page outlines how I support individual clients to take back control of their schedules and make room for themselves in their schedules alongside supporting others. Check out the Resources page for available online programs and resources. The Blog will include articles, videos, and creative writing all about empathy, equity, and empowerment.  

I can't wait to share in this journey with you!

Laura

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Laura Liz Hughes

Laura Hughes is a Niagara-based community educator, poet, and motivational speaker delivering equity and arts-based programming to youth, educators, and organizations on leadership and team-building, addressing & ending sexual violence, supporting students' mental health and wellness, building and supporting girls’ and women’s resiliency, teaching inclusive sexual health education, and creating consent culture. Her Master’s of Education research focused on queering sex education to centre queer, non-binary, and trans youth in Ontario’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum and in classrooms across the province. She is a trained counsellor for sexual violence survivors and advocate for creating space for our stories and experiences to be shared. Laura has facilitated over 60 workshops across Southern Ontario to elementary, secondary, college and university students and is currently booking for Fall 2017 - Spring 2018.