March is Social Work Month, and now more than ever, the theme “social workers are essential” takes on a new meaning. Each day at Human Options our advocates work to meet the constant need for help—at our overwhelmed family resource centers and shelters,— all while enduring the impact of the pandemic. Despite the support we provide each other, our clients, and their family members, it is important for professionals whose mission it is to stabilize those in crisis, to care for their own mental and physical health—to practice as much self-care as possible.
Providing compassionate, life-saving support, calls for a deep investment of mental and emotional capacity. Social workers carry the stories of survivor’s traumatic experiences, and pain with them
Here are some ways to manage stress and some quick resources:
1. Leave work at work: Schedule time for an activity to shake off stress after work, such as a long walk, time to listen to your favorite podcast
2. Journal each day, either with an app or putting pen to paper
3. Practice intentional breathing
4. Seek support through designated professional groups, or form your own with friends, coworkers or family members
5. Reset your senses with a creative hobby such as learning a craft or how to play an instrument, exploring new music, dancing or picking up an adult coloring book
Recommended by the National Association of Social Workers:
Each offers a free trial so you can find the right solution for you:
To carry people’s pain and trauma and not acknowledge the impact can lead to burnout. Answering the call to serve requires an ability to care for oneself.