Loads of cases and intense situations are among the challenges you face if you are a social worker. There would be times when meals grow cold and with an empty stomach and used up brains—burnout happens. So, if you are practicing in this field you should know what social work self-care is all about.
What Burnout Means
Burnout happens when you have exerted too much effort and get somewhat tired of what you have performed in consecutive days, weeks or months. Suddenly, you become inoperative, not anymore open to input, working with a closed brain, easily irritated, and angered. This condition could worsen and may affect a social worker seriously.
At times, individuals may suffer from paranoia while others would resort to self-medication or take in illegal substances just to ease up stress. A once promising career would be put to waste as social workers afflicted with this state face removal from office, asked to resign and to make it even worse, fired from the job.
It may be impossible to evade a part of the scenario where the worker is unable to say no to a patient not only due to the challenge that the case brings. There is also a mistake on the part of the advisor wherein the feeling of making patients overcome a particular struggle makes them victorious as well. But what if they cannot surpass the trials? Now, this is the thing that aggravates the situation, something that a social worker cannot cure in just a day. Below we discuss some steps for you to take to overcome the burnout stage.
7 Social Work Self-Care Tips
1. Wear a Thick Skin
Absorb a client’s case but don’t act like a sponge. This means you have to separate your own self from the issues itself. Never take things personally and don’t think about your workplace challenges when at home; not even when a challenging case was terminated by a client.
2. Set Realistic Goals
Learn how to make clients overcome using baby steps. This way, you don’t go out of your way in pursuing goals that are way too high even the best therapists cannot help a client with.
3. Take a Break
Small breaks can make you work more efficiently than not getting one until you are done for the day. Breathing exercises can help a lot and makes you think more productively.
4. Detach Yourself from Work
Unplugging can help as well. Socialize during weekends or you can also meet friends after work. This could ease up the burden from the workplace and can provide you with a variety of ideas the next days.
5. Ask for Assistance
Clients are not the only ones who need assistance—social workers do, too! Ask an associate to help you with some parts of the case you are working on. This enables you to draft a diverse strategic plan that could work for both you and your client. It also eases you up in thinking.
6. Get Tasks that you Can Afford to Deliver
If you have chosen challenging cases, which, by the way, can lead you to another promotion, think again! This is the perfect burnout agent. Overloading yourself with too many tasks in a day is not a good idea. So, choose between four to five cases that you can provide solutions.
Burnout phenomenon can kill even the top therapist in the land. Therefore, following some of these tips for social work self-care can prove useful in your journey towards helping people.
Being a social worker is not an easy job. Learn more on how you can do self-care at socialworkdegree.online.
Here’s a good infographic on how you can flourish as a social worker: https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/resources/self-care-starter-kit/how-to-flourish-in-social-work.html.
Every profession has its own risk and social work is not an exemption. Avoid getting burn out by following these handy tips socialworkdegree.online.