Social workers tend to spend a great deal of their time standing up and advocating for children and families that are often overlooked at the expense of caring for themselves. While there are plenty of rewards to being a social worker, the job can be both physically and mentally strenuous.
After you get your job from Tradewind Social Care – here are some simple methods whereby a social worker can practice self-care, stress and burnout management, as well as boosting their well-being on the most difficult of days.
1. Begin A Positivity File
The first tip to practicing self-care for social workers is by beginning a “positivity file”.
Have you ever received a compliment that makes you feel better about your day? Have you heard a positive story about a family you helped? Have you ever listened to a client share some information about how you improved their life? The positivity file is for all of these scenarios. Each time you hear a good story, write the tale down. When you are having a difficult day, you can read through the positivity file and read some of the good results from clients and how you are appreciated. By reading this file you’ll know that you’ve got this!
2. Get Up And Move
This can be as straightforward as taking a quick walk around the office a few times per day or even taking a short bicycle ride after finishing work. It may not seem like much of a change in your day, but regular exercise can improve a person’s balance, coordination and move. Moreover, walking offers a plethora of health benefits. Also, if you need some additional motivation on this one, then try downloading CharityMiles to make the miles count. You could earn money for 30+ charities by merely running, walking, cycling, and other types of moving activities.
3. Shaking Up The Routine
Fun fact: By changing a small and simple thing in your existing routine, such as the way you walk to work or the hand you utilize to brush your teeth; can help increase your brain’s level of plasticity and your ability to manage change. Moreover, changing a routine can help reduce stress levels and decrease the risk of long-term chronic stress effects; therefore, when the day or week is turned upside, your brain will be better able to handle it.
4. Activating Your Self-Soothing System
One tip to practice for social work is to soothe yourself, also known as self-soothing. Self-soothing can reduce any effects of trauma and can assist you in calming down after a difficult conversation or problematic visit that could trigger negative emotions. When self-soothing, it is important to focus on your five senses; for example, stretching or putting on body lotion (touch), sipping tea or coffee slowly (taste), keeping an essential oil diffuser on your desk (smell), viewing a photograph of a loved one (sight), or listening to music that relaxes you (sound). This list provides more options of self-soothing techniques for each of the senses.
5. Writing It Down And Throwing It Away
Writing down your thoughts and emotions allows you to declutter your mind, prioritizing what is bothering you, and learning which triggers certain emotions. The majority of people do this via keeping a journal; however, if you do not feel that a journal is for you, you could try writing down your emotions and “throwing the feelings away”. This has been found to influence the method they way the emotions affect a person.
6. Drinking Plenty Of Water
The majority of adults do not drink enough water in a single day, and this can result in mood swings, reduced energy levels, and problems in concentration. To avoid any dehydration, it is recommended that you carry water with you at all times. If you carry water with you constantly, you will drink the water without even thinking about it – similar to how you check your mobile phone more regularly if you have it with you. If you are not a fan of natural water, then is recommended you heat the water up and add a wedge of lemon. You could also try infusing herbs or fruits into the water.
7. Prepare Snacks And Meals Ahead Of Time
Have you ever felt “hangry” – yes, this is a real thing. This is due to the fact that the drop in glucose triggers stress responses. To prevent feeling this way, it is recommended you eat enough healthy food throughout the day. The simplest method to do this is via meal preparation. Choose one day per week to plan the snacks and meals, go to the grocery store for ingredients and prepare the food. This way, when you are too busy to think about meals during the week or need to eat on the run, you can merely grab one of the prepared meal containers. Begin with these simple meal preparation recipes – healthy lunch plans for social workers on the run along with snacks to keep the blood sugar levels stable.
8. Setting Time Aside For Play
One tip to practice self-care for social workers is to set aside at least five minutes per day for play. Even on the most chaotic of days, it is significant to squeeze in a few minutes that do not require too much thought. It is advised that you spend find minutes each day merely being spontaneous – draw, color, dance, sit on a swing, whatever! This could be done in a field if you visit families with young children; here you can incorporate playing into your day while also bonding with the family you are helping.
9. Have The Correct Tools For Your Work
Relying on outdated tools and techniques can make social work more complicated adding unneeded stress to the day. Approximately 37 percent of social workers report paperwork, poor systems, and ineffective resources as reasons for burnout; however, many agencies continue to rely on time-consuming and manual methods to get things done. Always search for means of cutting time on paperwork and automating routine tasks so you have more time to focus your true social work objectives.
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