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How do you take care of yourself when dealing with other people's problems?

I am an 8th grade student researching careers and this question will be posted for all students to see. #psychology

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Denise’s Answer

You have to understand that you can't fix or change anybody so you can't take on responsibility for their actions. You make sure to take time off, spend time with friends and family, do hobbies, get enough sleep, eat, and generally try to have some balance.
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Kim’s Answer

This is a good question! There are two parts to the answer. First, you would need to take care of yourself in the general sense. This means proper sleep, diet, exercise, and stress management.

The second part is not so easy. We are exposed to all types of problems that other people have in their lives. Some are really serious, scary, and depressing. The way one learns to deal with this is by "compartmentalizing." You should probably google it for a better explanation, but basically means you file it away in your brain and only think about it while at work, or even, only while dealing with that particular client. Suppose I am seeing 6 clients today, and one comes in and tells me about a real bad home situation. I might make some notes on things I want to follow up on later, but, as soon as she leaves, another client comes in. I cannot be thinking about the previous client while meeting with the next client! When I have some free time, I will then start researching resources for the first client, so, now I am thinking about her again. Make sense?
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Misty’s Answer

Angelina this is a hard one to answer.

My first question would be is this something that you are doing in a career type of setting or is it something that you are dealing with in a personal situation. This could determine how you could or would go about handling things.

For example, if it were a professional setting, if you were dealing with someone else's problems in say a therapist type of way, there are times that sessions could get overwhelming. You could always take a breather for yourself between sessions to give yourself a point to zen back so that you can continue on with the next session or patient. If at all possible, never take work home with you as this will bring stressors into your personal life and space. This could be detrimental to your personal zen time that has nothing to do with work.

If the topic is of a personal nature such as with a friend or family member, that may complicate things a little bit. While you want to be there for the people you care about, sometimes people expect you to be there for them to fix things that are not for you to fix or to bail them out of situations that they have gotten themselves into that have nothing to do with you and is going to take more out of you than you are able to give. Those are situations that you would need to handle a little differently simply because while you love these people, sometimes you have to let others fight their own fight to grow or learn and if they are trying to put you in the middle, it can take a toll on you and strain your relationship with that person which could cause other issues. I would definitely say that in this situation, it would be a pick the battle situation. If you feel that you can help the person for the better then great but if you feel that it is something that you want to help but feel it would add too much onto your own plate, offer to help the person find another outlet or solution to the problem that will put you less in the middle of it.

Hope this helps.
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