Facilitators Guide – Keeping myself safe

Getting a group going, doesn’t have to be difficult. As a Facilitator all you need to do is to make things easier for others to help themselves.

Effective groups usually have some common denominators such as:

  • Inclusive and accepting culture that contributes to psychological safety
  • Directives that optimises individual strenghts
  • Objectives that develops Group think and team norms

To do that you will need some skills in understanding people.

More importantly, it starts with knowing yourself and making sure you are in a good space.



Self-awareness is knowing how you behave in a certain situation, what motivates you, what can trigger certain feelings and why you feel those emotions. It is understanding about how and why we react to social situations and the actions of people around us.

How much do you know yourself in the following areas:

  • How are we different from other people. What is our dominant emotional pattern or in other words, how do we feel and respond emotionally in a different situation.
  • What restores us and helps us to bounce back after a rough situation.



For a group to function cohesively and achieve its objectives, it should be inclusive and accepting. But before we get there, lets see how you accept yourself? Look through this checklist and tick those that you agree with. Then see how you fair in self-acceptance

Here’s more to learn about self-acceptance

One good way to reinforce our acceptance of ourselves is to have our-own personal mantra. What’s your mantra? That statement that you hold true for yourself that will get you through a bad day?

Here’s my mantra:


Whatever we do, whether in our choice of study, careers and especially in managing relationships, knowing and using our strengths can make the process a whole load easier and enjoyable.

What are your strenghts and how can you use these strenghts in interacting with people and helping to solve problems?

Here’s more to learn about discovering personal strengths



Everyone experiences stress to some degree. How we control our reaction to a stressful situation depends on how well we know ourselves.

Emotional Reaction patterns

How you behave under different situations depend on your coping mechanisms.

What are the positive ways that you cope with stress?


In the worst of times, even the best of us may resort to negative coping methods. Being aware of these habits that don’t serve us will help us better manage stress. What are some of your the negative coping methods? What can you do about it?



Mental exhaustion or fatigue happens when you are stressing your brain over a long time without sufficient replenishment. Our brains need different neuro-substances to help it to work optimally, such as dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin. These signaling substances help to support attention and concentration. Some of these substances are also responsible for motivation, memory and moods. When your brain goes through intense mental activity over a prolonged period, it can tip the balance of these signaling substances which explains why we feel brain cramps.

If you are having some of these experiences, you could be suffering from mental exhaustion

  • Lack of motivation to study or work
  • Poor memory recall
  • Problems focusing and paying attention
  • Lack energy to do the things we planned to do.
  • Problems falling asleep
  • Forgetfulness
  • Moodiness or reactive emotions

What do you do when you feel any of the above?

Here’s more about how to manage burnout



Not feeling so good lately? When burnout is not well managed, it can lead to more severe psychological symptoms.

Here’s a Psychological check-list that you can do to find out how serious are the symptoms and the type of help you need.



Blind spots are the areas in our life that we cannot see and are not aware of. It’s usually an undesirable behavior, reaction or habit that is driven by our thoughts and believes about ourselves, other people or the world. Blind spots are pot holes in our lives and it can stumble us in relationships and in achieving our goals. It can keep us stuck in a problem or miss out on opportunities.

Refering to the article on blind spots, what it the most likely thinking or behavioral pattern that can reinforce your blind-spots.



To be able to care for others, we should be in a good place ourselves. Having a self-care plan is essential to be being in that space.  Here’s more about putting together that self-care plan

Here’s a quick self-care check-list to go through and remember, if you’re really busy or especially when you have just spent time with a distressed person,



Mental disorder is on the rise worldwide:


301 million people live with a diagnosed Anxiety disorder

280 million people live with diagnosed Depression


28% increase since Covid

A lot more are undiagnosed

Mental health is a continiuum. It ranges from flourishing in life to being disfunctional in our daily routines. Most disorders start off with mild symptoms and get increasingly more pronounced and complex over time. Hence, it is critical to ensure we look after our mental health consistently, identify symptoms early and get the right intervention.


Do you know someone with a mental health conditions?


We all feel nervous sometimes, but these feelings go away.

Anxiety becomes  a problem when symptoms such as nervousness, tension and fear stay with you and you feel like you are walking through a mine-field all the time.

Anxiety becomes a disorder when you are extremely fearful of a situation, and it gets in the way of what you need to do and in daily living.

Watch this anime about Anxiety Disorder

Learn more about Anxiety Disorder



Depression is more than just sadness.

When a person is feeling low moods and loss of interest or pleasure in all or most activities everyday, it could likely be depression.

3 or more of the following symptoms are also present

  • Significant weight gain or weight loss.
  • Insomnia (unable to sleep) or hypersomnia (sleeping too much)
  • Psychomotor agitation or movement retardation
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Reduced ability to think or concentrate or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death

Watch this movie about depression



Well done, you’ve done a deep dive on reinforcing self-care to keep yourself safe!

  • What are you feeling right now?
  • What have you unraveled about yourself in this session?
  • Is any of the information making you feel uncomfortable?
  • Take note of it and try to unpack it in your own time?
  • How does information on the different mental conditions make you feel? Why does it make you feel this way?
  • How can you apply the quick fix self-care plan?


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