I just finished listening to Dawn Serra’s wonderful podcast.
In the latest episode she interviews Kate Kenfield about all things empathy & self care. The thing that jumped out at me was the concept of ‘pair care’, that self care doesn’t always to be something we do alone. This idea makes my heart sing!
I couldn’t remember if any of the self care techniques I had listed in Deep sigh, and smile included other people. As a happy introvert my best guess was that I hadn’t, so I was pleasantly surprised that I had listed ‘cultivating my relationships’ at the top of the list (go me!).
One of the things Nicola Laurent and I have talked about in our work on vicarious trauma and emotional labour in archives is that the solitary and confidential nature of our work can be a real risk factor, preventing us from discussing anything we are affected by with anyone. Last night over drinks with some of my favorite archives women we talked about how important nurturing our professional support networks is. After listening to the podcast the penny finally dropped that what we were doing was a very meta form of pair care!
Kate has developed ‘Tea and Empathy’ cards to use as a tool for naming feelings. They are basically metadata. I can’t wait to get my hands on a deck.
(There is a kickstarter to develop the cards you can read more about it here).