After my blogserie about your salary it’s now time to address another urgent problem Social Workers have to deal with: exhaustion!
It makes me sad when I hear Social Workers talk about their huge workload.
Donna said: “I really love my work but it’s exhausting. I have too many clients to handle. I can’t help them the way I want. That’s making me sad and angry. I work 60 hours per week and it’s still not enough. My husband and kids are complaining because they miss me. I wish I could solve this problem but therefore I need more energy and that’s what I’m missing right now.”
Shelley, a student, said: “I am in the middle of my 2nd semester of grad school and I’m exhausted. I have four classes, a 20 hr week internship, and I’m a single mom.”
Not only we know that exhaustion is our problem. Others know it too. They make fun about us like this.
Or they describe us in a book like this: “The social worker seemed to be an older, underpaid woman who had to deal with more cases then she could handle, who was sick and tired of her work counting her days till her retirement.” [from Isabel Allende, Maya’s Notebook]
And all true. It’s a shame. But who is responsible? Our managers? Have you ever complained at your manager about your workload? Did it help? Did he or she take measures and was your workload more balanced after that? I hope so but to be honest with you I’m afraid this is often not the solution.
Is there something you can do yourself? I think you can! There’re proven ways to take good care of yourself and prevent you from exhaustion. I’m thinking of five ways:
- respect your boundaries: say no to your boss and clients when you need to
- take good care of your health: eat well, sleep well and do your exercises
- talk to your colleagues: when there’s a lot going on in your mind about specific clients get it out of your mind and talk with your colleagues, ask for help
- be realistic: you can’t save the world in one day and not on your own
- celebrate your successes: take time to stand still and celebrate the things you do achieve
What are you doing to prevent yourself from exhaustion?
Now I would like to know if starting your own business could be a solution. Are Social Worker Entrepreneurs free from exhaustion? I feel I need to think about this and will let you know in my next blog.
Don’t forget to share your ways to deal with exhaustion below in the comments to help others!