Coping with the day-to-day rigors of interpreting is an ongoing and challenging endeavor. Here is some information that other interpreters have found helpful.
When interpreters experience more stress than their system can handle, especially repeated or prolonged, there are negative effects on their psychological, emotional and physical health. Interpreters can increase their stress resilience by learning to use their breath to minimize the negative effects of the body’s stress response systems whenever needed.
Interpreters can increase their resilience by practicing the physical postures and breathing exercises in yoga. By practicing yoga, interpreters can improve:
Cognitive function & mental clarity
Muscle strength & flexibility
Blood circulation & oxygen uptake
Regulation of hormonal functions
In the video below I describe and demonstrate a basic yoga pose selected specifically for it’s benefits to sign language interpreters.
Meditation offers strategies to help interpreters cope with stress and enhance their quality of life Including:
Reducing stress & lowering blood cortisol levels
Enhancing empathy & improving life satisfaction
Improved problem solving and life management skills
In this short video, I gives step-by-step instructions to help you learn to meditate.
“Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabot-Zinn is one of the best and most clearly written books to introduce interpreters to basic meditation and mindfulness practices. I recommend this book for any interpreter wanting to enhance their resilience and mental clarity.” – Dr. Lybarger
“One of the keys to happiness is learning how to manage stress from moment to moment. One Minute for Yourself by Spencer Johnson is a short, but powerful book that offers practical, easy to apply strategies that interpreters can use immediately to become better at managing stress.” – Dr. Lybarger
“Irrational negative self-criticism can sabotage your well being. Living With Your Heart Wide Open by Steve Flowers can help you learn how to accept yourself with kindness and compassion, which is key to managing the day-to-day stresses of life.” – Dr. Lybarger
“You should be working to be your best friend not your worst enemy. In this easy to read book; The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion by Christopher Gemer provides an insightful guide to emotional healing. He offers practical proactive excercises to guide you on the path to becoming happier, healthier, and more resilient.” – Dr. Lybarger
“Many interpreters have hectic and busy lifestyles, Yoga Sparks by Carol Krucoff offers a 108 one minute long yoga practices, yes that’s right, even as little as a minute can help you become and remain healthier and more resilient” – Dr. Lybarger
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