Staff members at Richmond County Hospice participated in a stress workshop on Thursday, presented by Emily Ballance, MEd, LPC, CSP.
The workshop, “Managing Stress and Preventing Burnout at Work, at Home and in Life,” included information to assist hospice staff with refocusing and re-prioritizing their important life events and personal expectations. It identified early signs of stress and burnout, and also helped staff develop a plan for healthier lifestyles and strategies for change.
The workshop also included several engaging exercises that allowed staff members to learn more about themselves and each other.
During one exercise, Ballance had staff complete a checklist to identify each person’s stress level. Next, the group lined up according to the lowest number of Life Crisis Units to the highest number, giving everyone an opportunity to see who within the group might need a little more help or support from their peers.
During the Life Crisis Unit exercise, Bereavement Specialist Stephanie Thornton said she noticed that she and her husband, who was also in the group, were on opposite ends of the line when the group lined up. This, she said, gave them an opportunity for discussion at home.
At the end of the workshop, Ballance helped staff members set goals to help reduce stress and burnouts, and to establish specific activities to help each person accomplish those goals.
Teresa Graham, Hospice Aide, said she felt so strongly about the information she learned that she wanted to share it with others, especially members of her church.
“I really enjoyed it,” she said.
“The workshop was a good reminder to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of the patients we serve,” said Jessica Mims, a social worker.
Ballance currently lives in Raleigh and speaks to health care organizations, corporations, and at state and national conferences across the country. She frequently presents on humor, stress management and communication. She is a member of the National Speakers Association, and the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor.
Ballance is also a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 20 years of experience in her field, and holds a Master of Education degree and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
When not traveling and speaking, she volunteers her time with older adults and the Autism Society of North Carolina.
For more information about Ballance or her workshops, visit www.emilyballance.com.
— Staff Writer Mallory Brown can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.