Many of us go into social work because we are helpers. We like the uniqueness of the field of social work. We are natural helpers and are happy with the opportunities that we are offered by working in this field.
But, imagine what it feels like to lose that! Burnout causes you to become out of touch with the reason that you went into this field in the first place.
According to the Mayo Clinic, burnout is “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
I have worked in the field of social worker for several years now. My jobs have each required a different skill set, use of my self and patience. In the past few months, I have come to learn the importance of self-care.
Social work is a very stressful field. We work in a field that requires us to get involved in the lives of others. Add the fact that we as social workers are human beings and have our own stuff.
We hear the term work life balance. And, I believe that it is very important. We have to learn how to keep work at work and home at home. But, sometimes the two can be connected. We have to practice good boundaries.
Ways that I practice self care as a social worker:
- Pray. This is so important to me. Praying helps me to get through many difficult days and weeks. I don’t know where I would be without a life line of prayer.
- Remember that I not everyone’s social worker. Just like a doctor doesn’t tell all of their family and friends about how to take care of their health, we social workers can’t try to help everyone.
- Journal. It is important to reflect. I use journaling to reflect on what’s going well and what needs to be changed. And other times I just write myself happy.
- Listen to podcasts. There are so many podcasts. I like to listen to podcasts that uplift me. And if the podcast can uplift me and educate me, it is awesome.
- Listen to music. I like to listen to instrumental music. It is something special about music with no words to it.
- Hike. I don’t get to do this often but I enjoy it when I do.
- Stay connected to positive people. Again, social work is a stressful field. We must have people who fill into us and vice verse.
- Leave work at work. We as social workers are supposed to maintain confidentiality. Therefore, we do not need to be discussing what goes on at work outside of the work place anyway. Make a conscious effort to leave the cares of the day as you are leaving your office, turning off your phone, etc. Create a ritual that helps you to disconnect at the end of the day.
There are many ways to practice self care. While jumping on a particular self are bandwagon is not necessary, it is important to have some personal ways to practice self care.
How do you practice self care?
The article “Importance of Self-Care As a Social Worker” first appeared at “https://itstashascorner.com/2021/03/15/importance-of-self-care-as-a-social-worker/” on Monday, March 15, 2021.