"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

BURN OUT


So... I've realized over a month has past from my last and only post. Time flies when you are burning out on the job. The last month has been such a crazy whirlwind consumed by work stress. I have driven about 600 miles from Montebello to Sylmar to El Sereno and beyond. I have been to adolescent psychiatric wards, court hearings, and walked down gang infested streets of Los Angeles trying to help a kid cope with impossible situations. Lately the norm has been skipping lunches, taking work home on the weekends, and trying to stay sane enough to be present in sessions with clients. Self care is so important in this profession, but seems impossible in my environment. Thinking about the overwhelming amount of clients, paperwork, work politics, and driving that comes along with my job makes it so difficult for me to serve my clients to the best of my abilities. I must remind myself that my clients too struggle with a similar problem. The only difference is they often are more overwhelmed, with less coping skills, and are children and, therefore, have little control over their lives. The majority of my clients are good kids who are trying their hardest to get by, but can't catch a break. Their problems can all be linked back to poor parenting and trauma created by unhealthy adults. These children, much like me, have constant chaos in their environment that is caused by others not by them. Coping with the messes that other people make is anxiety provoking whether you are a social worker or a child in a family. However, I am an adult who has the power to help these children. More importantly, as a generally healthy adult, I have the power to help myself, which is the only way to be able to help others. It's times like these that I need to remind myself to engage in as much self care as possible so that I am able to function... otherwise, what good can I do for these kids?

What do you do for self care?

3 comments:

  1. What do I do? This is hard for a male to answer in this field I think. There's lots of awareness about this but it all seems to be directed towards females. I don't take a bubble bath and I don't golf. I think time with my family is what serves me the best.

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  2. I feel like there are so many men's issues that are never addressed in this field! I was just having a conversation about this with some colleagues at work. I hope you keep pointing out the male point of view for us. Thanks

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  3. It's sad with as much focus they put into self-care, many social workers don't have the time or can't afford self-care activities. Good luck with your job!

    http://socialworkburnout.blogspot.com

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