On February 6th, 2019, our Director of Grief Services, Kelly Karavousanos, and Human Resources Director, Donna Denning, offered wellness training for 38 members of our staff.
Our management team found the Hospice Foundation of America’s webinar, Put Your Own Oxygen Mask on First: Self-Care for Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals, was not only important for those working in hospice but also essential for professionals in Funeral Service.
“This was impactful training,” Human Resources Director, Donna Denning said, “We were able to have participants from throughout the entire company attend and allow themselves to take the time to stop and focus on self-care.”
Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve your own health. For funeral professionals, it can be difficult to put yourself first after caring for your families. Taking the time for yourself is especially crucial for staff as they can experience burnout, compassion fatigue, caregiver burden, or soul injury when not partaking in self-care. This stress management involves a variety of techniques to control your level of stress for the purpose to improve everyday life.
Words from our Staff
Our staff members took to heart the information they gathered.
Funeral Director Milton Schaper said, “In our profession, funeral directors are continuously caring about others before themselves. I think this presentation addressed many different ways that we would be able to focus and care for ourselves.”
Our staff learned creative strategies for enhancing self-care routines and in turn, bettering stress management, that included different forms of writing, listening to music or performing music, painting or drawing, and meditation.
“Through music, writing, and meditation, we are able to identify things that cause stress in our lives and then work to relieve that stress for a happier working environment,” Funeral Director Alison Brettnacher stated.
It is important to make self-care a daily ritual. It affects work-life balance and can release stress and strain. Remember to catch your breath and care for yourself.
Courtney Molloy, Funeral Service Manager, said, “I felt that the training was essential to help bring awareness to the reality of compassion fatigue, not only among those who are caring for the dying but for those who care for the deceased and their families in the immediate time following the death. Most importantly we were able to learn or be reminded that taking care of others starts with taking care of ourselves.”
“There are many high-stress potentials in funeral service. Because of the urgency and time-contingent services we provide, being able to center ourselves and take a moment and be mindful of our stress helps us better support and care for our families,” Nora Tsahiridis, a member of our concierge team said, “This training was a great reminder that self-care is not a quick fix situation, it is a ritual you must make time for on a daily basis.”