Self-care is a very simple term but when it comes to following self-care, many do it wrong. It is important to practice self-care because the stress and pressure can be really harmful to the mind and the body. Self-care is essential for social care workers because they work towards caring and providing for others and when it comes to taking care of themselves they completely ignore it.
This is bad because the social care workers start to burn out eventually and start to experience the job as a burden. Everything around them seems different and when there is no interest in the self-care job, they can’t do justice to it.
Expert’s Tips for Self-Care When Working in Social Care –
- Start a “positivity” file –
Compliments are like magical elements that can brighten up your day and when you look back at these compliments you feel good. This is why making a positivity file can really help in self-care. You can start a journal and write down the compliments that you receive along with the day and when you look back at these compliments you can be confident and positive towards life.
When you are in the social care field, you hear a lot of stories on how your help made a difference in others and impacted their families, and when you hear such stories, you can write them down. Reading these stories later can motivate you and make you realize that you can achieve whatever you set your mind on.
- Get up and move –
One of the best ways to divert your mind and to relieve the stress is to just move around. You can go for a walk, get your vehicle and drive around the city, or just walk up to the rooftop and enjoy the view. Looking at moving vehicles or buildings from the top or even walking around while listening to music can improve your mood, balance, and coordination.
You can even download apps like CharityMiles and when you walk or travel around the city when the app is running, you earn some points and you can turn these points into money and donate the money to various charities. This is like doing social work while actually working on self-care.
- Shake up your routine –
Doing the same things every day and following your routine exactly how you did the previous day can lead you in living your life in a boring way. This kind of lifestyle removes all the excitement and fun but you may be completely efficient and perfect in doing your job. This may result in burnout and to avoid this you can shake up your routine and do things differently.
Try taking a different route to your work, or start wearing different types of clothes, or do anything different than you would normally do. This would help to increase your brain’s “plasticity” and by this, you can manage stress in a better way and when your mind detects a change or unfamiliar environment, it is ready to experience it.
- Activate your self-soothing system –
A self-soothing system is a coping mechanism that is in everybody but sometimes you have to prepare yourself or activate this self-soothing system. Activating this system can help to cope with stress and trauma of any kind and it becomes easy to deal with emotions.
You can activate your self-soothing system by focusing on the five senses – things like doing exercise or by getting a massage(touch), having some delicious food or having a beverage (taste), keeping an essential oil diffuser at your desk (smell), watching a movie or looking at the picture of your loved ones like friends and family (sight), or listening to a song that relaxes you (sound).
- Write it down (and throw it away) –
It is a proven fact that you can handle your emotions in a better way when you write them down and if you feel like journaling and saving this is not for you, you can always write down what you feel and then throw it away. This creates the essence of getting rid of your emotions because you write them down and actually throw the paper away. This method helps you to feel better and accept the feelings that are hard to take in.
- Drink plenty of water –
It might be surprising to hear but not drinking enough water can cause mood swings, low energy levels, and makes it hard to focus. Drinking water can also help in reducing stress and when your body gets enough fluids, it functions at its best. You won’t feel sleepy or tired and it is easy to concentrate. It might be a little hard to drink water at regular intervals and if you are one of those people who think that water has a bland taste you can try flavored water.
- Do exercise and take out some time for playing –
One of the best ways to get rid of stress is to exercise and when you exercise you not only get rid of all the pressure and stress but your body also starts functions at its best and other factors like blood pressure are also under check. You can go to a gym or even go and play some sports outside to blow off some steam. You can even make some friends and get along with others while playing sports.
- Prep meals and snacks ahead of time –
Feeling hungry might be a common feeling but this hunger can really impact your health and your mood. When you feel hungry the stomach releases acids to digest the food but when you don’t consume any food, the stomach acid causes bloating, and digesting food might take longer. You can always take some time and prepare meals and preparing food is a satisfying feeling. You can go grocery shopping and pick up ingredients to try cooking something new.
You can prepare healthy meals so that you get all the nutrition and fiber that you need to supplement your social care job.
- Develop the right tool to do your job –
Most social care job offering companies have outdated systems and procedures and not having the required skills and tools can make your job easier. More than 37% of workers cite paperwork have inefficient tools so this makes your job harder and increases your workload hence increasing stress.
You can enroll for lectures and workshops to know more about the required skills and there are online and offline courses that teach different techniques and ways. Learning these skills can make your job easier and you have more time to focus on yourself.
The best way to work on self-care is by making self-care a priority, you might read books or watch videos on practicing self-care but you should put in that effort and take the first step towards ensuring self-care. Once you start practicing self-care you start to realize the changes and you feel better. Everything around you starts to feel better, your health improves, you can see your performance at your job getting better and your attitude and mentality also become the best.
Author Bio –
Social work and self-care have always been the key interests for Tara Lane and it is the self-satisfaction that grabbed her attention. She explains social work as this magical experience that brings in an unreasonable amount of satisfaction and this is the kind of satisfaction that money cannot buy. While working for social care jobs app – OUTT Tara realized how important self-care is and she found self-care and social work to provide the same kind of feeling.