How to care for yourself when working a stressful job as a social worker
Working as a social worker is a very rewarding job, but it can also sometimes leave you feeling drained physically, mentally and emotionally. Thankfully, you can always manage stress and engage in self-care to protect your well-being. Here are some tips for caring for yourself despite your stressful job.
Manage your time well
Time management is a very important self-care procedure. It ensures your work activities do not extend beyond working hours so you can have adequate time to yourself. Procrastination is an enemy of proper time management, and encroaching deadlines can make it harder for you to manage stress. Therefore, it is important to organize your tasks into schedules and stick to them.
Take short breaks between work
With the truckload of tasks you feel you need to achieve as a social worker, it may be harder to convince yourself to take a break. However, slowing down purposefully and taking periodic breaks can actually help you achieve more as your brain rejuvenates faster. During your breaks, you may consider relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation exercises.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
If you’ve always been all about work and work alone, it is natural to feel stressed. Do you spend your weekends and holidays scanning through the team budget or preparing the slides for your next presentation? There are several reasons that most work schedules respect traditional weekends, but giving you more time for office work isn’t one of them. Working around the clock will burn you out, and you may end up scaring away friends and family who should naturally be available to offer you emotional and social support.
Although the term “self-care” is thrown around a lot, people tend to misunderstand it. Self-care isn’t about getting better at your career, nor is it about being selfish. Instead, it is about paying attention to yourself so that you stay healthy and sane. There are several ways to practice self-care, but we consider eating healthy, getting enough sleep, exercising, and embracing meaningful friendships to be very important.
Ask for a break if you really need one
It may be difficult to ask for a break, but sometimes it is necessary. If you feel burned out and emotionally drained, you may want to speak to your boss or supervisor. Request a break or a review of your job duties politely but firmly. Unless you take this bold step, you will never know how much your company is willing to relieve you of stress.
As a social worker, getting a master’s degree in social work can further your career and help you find quality jobs that offer an employee-friendly environment due to more job opportunities. Programs like the Spalding University online social work master’s degree offer you the opportunity to obtain a degree from the convenience of your home without having to detach from your previous engagements. The schedules are also flexible, with full-time and part-time options available to suit your preference.
Tension and work strain are unavoidable in all types of jobs, but they can be effectively managed. The most important thing is making sure you take proper care of yourself despite the strain of your job.