Shake It Baby

baby shakes head side to sideI’ve recently been taking a class and the instructor (who however very skilled and knowledgeable, jumped from topic to topic and here we go, I don’t remember how we got here) talked about shaking baby syndrome. The class I was taking was non-violence crisis intervention, so I think he started with how much strength and time people like us, the support workers, put into dealing with other people we were take care of, and from there the parallel with Shaken Baby Syndrome came through.

SBS is related to the idea that parents would shake their babies too hard to keep them from crying which worked only the opposite way. The point of what the instructor was leading to, and what I’m trying to get to here, is that there is a strategy aimed at the person going through that difficult experience and that it is to stop what they were doing, leave alone the task (a crying baby, if you will) for several minutes and… phone someone.

Life is that kind of thing that it may seem like it is a walk in a park in good weather one day, and it is a shaking crying baby time for the rest of the week. Stress is a constant plague of a modern human and getting out of the grind of the ever-turning wheel may seem impossible. So much work, so many responsibilities, frustrations, temptations, and unmet expectations. We can drown fast in that sea of emotions and information of all kinds, if we don’t pay attention. As the result, perpetual watching out for danger and possibilities may lead to mental and physical exhaustion, and then the spirit would start fading out as well.

What would people do in that situation if we haven’t learned and practiced (and some of us perfected) the habit of talking to others when we need it? Yes, when we need it. So often we ask a person who have flipped big time to almost lose their job, or relapsed on alcohol: “Why didn’t you talk to us?” There are plenty of excuses, and some good ones, but I think the most important reason is that we don’t see ourselves very important to take a break.

When I was in elementary school, we have an exercise in the middle of a writing session. The instructor would ask us to put pens down and stretch our fingers, saying along with that something to the sense of “we’ve been writing for a long time, our fingers are now tired. It’s time to relax before we go back at it.” (Shit, I still remember that?!) I don’t know if they teach something similar in elementary schools these days, but I hope they do. In the adult organizations they have health classes, and it is taught, as it is highly recommended, to take a break in the midst of what people are doing. Leave the desk for several minutes, take a walk around the room, bend forward, stretch legs, have a drink of water, go back to your project. It’s not just about your body – it’s about your focus and about breaking down your stress.

Good theories, and there is good proof too, too good not to apply to reality – and how often do we do it? I only do it when I remember which is many hours into the shift. Still, though, I take that time to stretch. Now how about talking to each other?

We need to do that. We need to put the baby back in the crib for several minutes and let it cry. Because if we are in bad shape, we cannot help the baby, until we are OK. And how are going to be OK? Stretch or talk. Or both. DO IT. Talk. Stretch. Give it a couple minutes. Are you feeling better? Just a little bit? That counts too. Keep doing it.


the image was copied from https://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Baby-Shakes-Head-Side-to-Side.html thanks.