Social Work Month: Prioritize Your Self-Care

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Mental health is important to the entire workforce.

Have you ever asked yourself if you are mentally healthy enough to do your job?

A mental health day is a day specifically dedicated to stress relief and the prevention of professional burnout. A mental health day allows employees time to manage thoughts, feelings and stress. It is a day (or days) set aside to reset and rejuvenate. A day to combat or prevent absenteeism, reduced productivity, overwhelm and agitation – all of which can be costly to employers and hazardous to employees. A day or two away from work provides an opportunity to practice the self-care needed to get back or stay on track.

When is the last time that you took a mental health day?  I believe that the chances are high that you should have taken a mental health day sooner than the day it was taken. 

Social workers know that self-care is more than pampering. Social workers know that self-care is well-being. Social workers understand that self-care includes managing your time and responsibilities, setting healthy boundaries, and being kind to yourself. Despite this knowledge, Social Workers (in general) tend to overwork. We give and deplete and give a little more.

Let me remind you that you can’t pour from an empty cup.

Prioritizing your physical and psychological needs is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and to those who depend on you. Making yourself a priority is crucial for long term health and success. In addition to taking a mental health day, here are 10 ways to cope with grief, stress and disappointment in a healthy manner.

  1. Seek support
  2. Meditate
  3. Exercise
  4. Journal
  5. Listen to music
  6. Spend time with loved ones
  7. Rest/nap
  8. Read
  9. Play with a child or a pet
  10. Take a walk

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Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has an extensive background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished supervisor, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business.  Nicki Sanders Consulting helps businesses increase employee recruitment and retention and helps managers uplevel their leadership skills.  

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