In the section on Coping and Self-care we used a car metaphor to explain the importance of having enough fuel in your tank. Now we’re going to think about the warning lights on your dashboard and the hazard signs that might appear along the roadside. These things let us know when we need to do some maintenance and help us prepare for difficult conditions ahead.
Let’s start with your dashboard. Do you understand your warning signs? Do you pay attention to them? And is there one that you’re never quite sure what it means?
In Understanding our response to trauma and stress we explained how our minds and bodies react when we’re under threat and the things that affect our ability to bounce back. It can be hard to recover our balance after some traumatic events and difficult to maintain it when we’re under constant pressure. When this happens, things can get out of kilter.
Below are some common warning signs which, if you can recognise and understand, you’ll have a good chance of fixing them. If you need a bit more help, please have a look at the tips on the What can I do if I’m not OK? page.
Let’s think now about how we can anticipate times when you may be more vulnerable to psychological injury. These risks may be related to the incident you’re responding to or perhaps to your career role or stage.
You can read more about these in the Protective Armour section and watch Iain and Jules describing some of the difficult jobs they’ve faced.