Burnout is very real for social workers and other mental health professionals. We go and go until we’ve got no fuel left, but this harms us and the people around us (including clients). Luckily, self-care (the meaningful kind) can help!
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Signs of Burnout
- Can’t stop thinking about your personal or your clients’ problems
- Feeling powerless, impatient, withdrawn, or irritable
- New chronic pains in your body (see a doctor for professional advice if you are experiencing this)
- Not feeling or acting like yourself (people around you may point this out)
- Increased arguments with others
Why Do You Need Self-Care
Pick which one(s) feel best for you (we’re all in different places):
- Your health and wellbeing are important
- Self-care helps set you up for success
- Your loved ones need you to be present
- Your client’s need a fully present social worker
- You deserve it
What to Do
- Re-evaluate your schedule: Is there anything you are doing that does not actually make you productive (working for the sake of work)? Can you bulk similar tasks together (ie sending emails)? (I’ve been learning about this a lot from this book – click here)
- Think: Is there anything that used to make me feel good that I don’t do anymore?: You do not have to re-invent the wheel. Is there anything that you know helps you?
- Identify different, new types of self-care: Social (ex. Facetime a friend), Environmental (ex. visit the park, clean your room), Educational (ex. listen to a podcast), Emotional (ex. journal your thoughts), Financial (ex. evaluate your budget), Health (ex. workout)
- Advocate for yourself: Are you being treated fairly? If not, you can advocate for yourself! (If you’re like me and struggle with this, maybe click here to see this book)
- Ask for help: It is okay to ask for help! Maybe you need supervision or maybe just a caring friend
Eager Social Worker Self-Care Worksheet Coming Soon!
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This Post Has 2 Comments
Advocating for ourselves is a big one- I think Social workers need to do more of this! Great article
Thank you for that feedback! I think self-advocacy is the self-care we do the least, so definitely agree!