Self-care refers to all the activities and practices that people involve regularly to reduce stress and maintain and enhance well-being. Self-care is a necessary skill for social workers, thus I would take several measures to promote it. Foremost, I would encourage collaborative networking to help reduce workplace stress and deal with the factors that result in the stress with a lot of confidentiality. One of the ways to promote collaboration is pairing new social workers with the experienced ones. Engaging in professional dialogue with colleagues helps in releasing the workload pressure and ease job burnout (Felicia, 2016). Moreover, it helps in identifying imbalance and identification of proper ways to rectify the issues before causing any harm. Indeed, talking through the emotions and knowing that one is not alone helps in relieving stress.
Another way of promoting self-care is practicing self-awareness. The first step of self-care is the recognition of the stressors at play and assessing their manifestation cognitively and behaviorally. Picking up from a client’s trauma comes without one’s realization and can manifest from various ways including irregular sleep patterns and increased irritability (Lizano & Sapozhnikov, 2018). Therefore, the social workers should be aware of the way occupational stress affects them both inside the profession and outside it to help them to avoid the stressors or manage them.
I have witnessed some self-care habits and opportunities for improving selfcare in social work. Some of the selfcare habits include mindfulness in one’s work, scheduling, time offs from the workplace, and effective scheduling habits. These activities help in job burnout mitigation by creating an environment with flexibility. Mindfulness also reduces anxiety and depression in the workplace. one of the opportunities I see for improvement of self-care in the agency is education and training about self-care during the social work conferences. Education will help in knowing the effects of job burnout and the effective tools to help in mitigating them. Another opportunity is the creation of a culture that effectively addresses stress and the manifestation of job burnouts, which can be done by pairing the social workers among other approaches.
Felicia, W. (2016). Identifying, preventing, and addressing job burnout and vicarious burnout for social work professionals. Journal of Evidence-Informed Social Work, 13(5), 479-483.
Lizano, E., & Sapozhnikov, B. (2018). Exploring the meaning of job burnout beyond western context. International Social Work, 857-866.