Social workers sometimes if not often tend to be known as stressed out human beings and burn out victims. But really I think we take ourselves too seriously. My professional life defines my whole life to some extent but the percentage should not lean heavily on the professional. A social worker also has a social life.
I have learnt to keep my work at work and when i get back home I am back to being me without the social work title. Back when i did not know how to do this I was often told to leave my social work at the office because I would bring it home with me. This meant bringing the problems of the office clients to weigh down on the home front. It also means bringing social work methods of dealing with issues into the home (which works in conflict situations;but not so much when someone feels psychoanalaysed when all they need is a friend,sister,partner etc.).
So then my social work friends have mastered the art of not letting social work get to them and I believe I have learnt from them and with them. Here is how:
- have a crazy social life to make up for a crazy work life. I speak here of the work hard play hard principle. What is defined as play differes from one individual to the next, choose what works best for you and allows you to still go to work on a Monday morning.
- sorround yourself with a mixed crowd of people not just social workers because then the topics of conversation are diverse not centred on social work.
- yes there are stressful cases and clients but dont take it personal, its seldom about you as an individual but about the client
- have fun with the profession, make it your passion and if not then consider a change of career.
- personally having time to meditate and tap into my spiritual psyche helps me to unwind and leave the stresses of the day behind
I am still learning everyday and there are still days whenI wake up not wanting to be a social worker. But I still get uo and go do it…..
Im sure there are many many more ways of how not to let social work get to you. Until next time then…..