Mindfulness Is Necessary For On-Call Crisis Work
Community

Mindfulness Is Necessary For On-Call Crisis Work

Whether you are working a crisis hotline or not, it's super important to be mindful in how you respond to people and the events unfolding around you.

25
Mindfulness Is Necessary For On-Call Crisis Work
https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-using-black-smartphone-2628120/

Last summer, I completed training to become an on-call advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. My primary duty is to answer the hotline phone after business hours. The types of calls range from rescheduling appointments with fulltime advocates to being called in to perform on-site services for sexual assault examinations at the local hospital. Calls to this hotline are all to be taken seriously. There is no way to predict what types of phone calls will be received during a shift.

The first time that I worked an on-call shift, I was incredibly nervous!

What if I don't hear the phone ring in the middle of the night?

What if the phone service isn't very good?

What if I get a call while I'm already on the line?

What if I get called to the hospital?

What if I do not know the answer to a question right away?

What if I mess up?

How often is the phone going to ring?

The first time I worked an on-call shift, I just stared at the on-call phone for the first hour of my shift. I just kept wondering why the phone was not ringing yet. I had the phone for an entire hour and nothing happened not even the following hour or the next.

When I answered my first phone call, I realized that all the nerves dissipated and I was entirely focused on the person who was speaking on the other phone line.

I assumed that this feeling would subside after I had more experience working the on-call phone. However, even after doing this volunteer work for several months, and gaining experience with a wide variety of types of calls, I was finding myself still super nervous. From the minute I would turn the on-call phone on, to the last few seconds of the 16-hour shift, I always felt on-edge when the phone was not ringing.

Then I had a realization.

Mindfulness is the act of paying attention in a particular way, on purpose and nonjudgmentally. When you are mindful, you are completely immersed in the reality of what is commencing in real life, not ruminating about past experiences or worrying about what may (or may not!) happen in the future. Your mind is linked with your physical body, right here in the present and nowhere else.

I needed to be mindful when on-call. Rather than worrying about when (or if!) the phone was going to ring, I needed to continue being present with other things that were going on. When the phone actually rings, then it was even more crucial to be mindful because I needed to give the caller my entire attention in order to be able to assist them to the best of my abilities.

The opposite of mindfulness is worrying about how things unfold in the future. Constantly worrying about the next phone call was not helpful at all. Personally, it increased my stress hormones for no reason. I was unable to get anything accomplished and would never sleep through the night because I was so anxious about the phone ringing. There have been a couple of times when I never even received a call for an entire shift. There have also been a couple of times when I received back to back to back calls followed by a trip to the hospital for on-site advocacy.

This reiterates the unpredictability of on-call work while simultaneously demonstrating the need for being mindful while working.

You are always able to figure out what to do to help the person calling in. On-call work is challenging, yet immensely rewarding. The most nerve-wracking part seems to be waiting for that phone to ring. Here's a friendly reminder to anyone who takes on the amazing act of on-call work: stay mindful because it will help you to personally get accustomed to having the on-call phone with you without over-stressing and it will allow you to be in a much better mental state to answer and fully assist people when you finally do get that phone call.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Disney

I've always been a huge Disney villain fan — whether it was for their cryptic one-liners, enviable outfits, or sidekick banter. Some of the most iconic lines from cinematic history have been said by the characters we love to hate and occasionally dress up as once a year.

The fear-mongering Gaston I now find hilariously cringe-worthy is now charming and oftentimes considered by fans as rightfully justified in his actions. Die-hard fans of the Disney villain fan club claim alternate egos in their favorite evil characters, adopting their hilarious witticisms into everyday life.

Keep Reading... Show less

TikTok was banned by the president, but Instagram is here with its newest feature called Reel. Many of us are still wondering why TikTok was being banned in the first place. Was it all the dangerous TikTok trends? It was because of a security concern, but not in the way you might think.

TikTok is owned by Dancebyte, which is a China-owned company. Basically, just like any other app, TikTok collects the user's data. The main question to ask yourself when investing in any app or marketing tools who will be owning my data? So yes, China currently owns all the TikTok user's data worldwide.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Reasons To Put The Damn Mask On, And Stop Fussing With It

COVID-19 is real people, do your part to protect yourself and others.

Ilana Stein

With the ever-changing reality of our world due to COVID-19, there has been one constant throughout these past unforeseen months, masks. Ever since coronavirus hit the ground running in the US, the CDC has been recommending social distancing and mask-wearing to stop the rapid spread.

Many people have been great about adhering to these policies, mandates, and suggested uses, but others, not so much.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been an athlete my entire life. I love movement and I've been jumping, kicking, swimming, dancing, throwing, you name it since I was in diapers. I'm also pretty competitive and probably went through a few sore loser phases. What can I say? I like to win, and losing can sometimes feel like I've failed. Especially, when your competitor is your best friend or someone that you worked all year long to defeat.

Keep Reading... Show less

I am not in any way any sort of medical expert. These are just some tricks that work for me and have worked for others who also suffer from anxiety. These may not work for everyone, but I do hope these help some people in their fight against anxiety.

Keep Reading... Show less

- I have extremely sensitive skin, which is why I have always resorted to a plant-based organic beauty line such as Radha Beauty.

- Radha Beauty won me over years ago when I was looking for organic skincare brands.

- I was so excited to see they launched a new line incorporating USDA organic rosehip oil, so when their PR team sent me some, I could not have been more thrilled.

- After a week of using the products, my face felt as smooth as a baby's, looked more glowy than ever, and even cured some of my summer sunburn.

Radha Beauty isn't just a best-selling beauty brand on Amazon — it's a USDA-certified organic beauty brand I live by, and anyone who knows me knows I am all about holistic wellness.

Typically, it only takes three days for me to tell if a skin product is working or not because I have extremely sensitive skin. It's also why I have always stuck by plant-based organic beauty lines such as Radha Beauty.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have definitely had my fair share of breakups. I broke up with my high school sweetheart my second semester of college (he was cheating on me), I had a breakup with another guy I thought I was going to marry, and others in between. Regardless of whether you're the one doing the dumping or being dumped, breakups can HURT.

Keep Reading... Show less

Social media is something many of us have been addicted to (whether we want to believe it or not) since the moment we got it. I remember getting Facebook at 10. Instantly I was hooked. I loved being able to share my life with people, a little too much in my opinion, and I loved being able to see how/what other people were doing all the time.

Keep Reading... Show less

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments