Respond to peers- Dealing with Stress-
**ONLY NEED TO RESPOND TO PEERS**
Why do you think that self-care is important for social workers?
What stresses you? What stress overwhelms you?
How do you cope with these stressors?
How will you cope with these stressors when you become a social worker?
Respond to at least two peer posts (75-150 words).
Prior to submitting your posts, check them for appropriate grammar, usage and spelling. In the field of social work it is important to be able to communicate effectively when writing as well as when speaking. Errors in these areas will result in a lower grade for your discussion posts.
Self-care in social work is very important because the burn out rate is very high with social workers. Social Workers are under a lot of stress to complete tasks because these tasks could greatly impact a client’s life. A situation I find stressful is when I have so many notes and decide to finish notes at home so I can focus on providing the client with the best care during session. There are times that I feel like I do not have enough resources for clients and trying to obtain more resources can become stressful. Social workers work with trauma, aggression, rudeness and bullying so stress is very common in the frontline of practice (Adamson, 2012).
The stress that overwhelms me the most is when I have notes to complete, homework to complete and personal issues going on in my life. When I become overwhelmed, I tend to procrastinate and take time for self-care, however then I create a plan on how I will complete all the tasks ahead of me. To cope with stressors, I try mindfulness activities or take an hour to go to the gym. Providing time to myself is important way to destress. An important way to cope with stress is time management and trying my best to create schedules and keep myself organized (Collins, 2010). After receiving my MSW, I will continue to practice self-care and keep myself as organized as possible. My favorite coping strategy is talking to others about my problems. After discussing an issue, I find it helpful to receive feedback and insight from others.
Procrastination tends to happen for me when I am overwhelmed with too much work. I usually set aside a day to focus on myself. After I create a to-do list and organize myself, I feel ready to complete all the tasks. Marking the tasks off on a to-do list is an easy way to feel accomplished. Time management is important when I determine which task, I need to complete first. Sometimes I find it helpful to complete a simple task first to get myself started. When I am overwhelmed from reading too much, I set a timer for 30 minutes and take a break. Another important way to prevent procrastination is to eliminate distractors. I try to find a quick area in my house or office space to complete work.
After reading more about developing and managing agency resources, I found many areas that would cause stress for a social worker. A stressor for me would be having problems with grant proposals. There are so many parts to a grant proposal and one tiny mistake could lead to the rejection of a grant (Kirst- Ashman, 2018). If a social worker procrastinated writing the grant, they might not include enough adequate information to get the grant approved (Kirst-Ashman, 2018).
Adamson, C. (2012). Social Work Under Pressure: How to Overcome Stress, Fatigue and Burnout in the Workplace. Australian Social Work, 65(2), 270–272. https://doi-org.ezproxy.ollusa.edu/10.1080/0312407…
Collins, S., Coffey, M., & Morris, L. (2010). Social Work Students: Stress, Support and Well-Being. British Journal of Social Work, 40(3), 963–982. https://doi-org.ezproxy.ollusa.edu/10.1093/bjsw/bc…
Kirst-Ashman, K. and Hull, G. (2018). Generalist practice with organizations and communities (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Social workers are faced with the demands of attending to a variety of clients with complicated needs; being responsible for accountability of services through large amounts of paperwork and documentation; and often times, operating within bureaucratic systems that can bring significant stress (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). Practicing self-care is important and vital for social workers because it helps alleviate and maintain physical, mental, and emotional health. By practicing self-care, social workers are better able to prevent burnout (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018).
Everyone experiences stress but it varies from person to person. I have learned that there are two types of events that can lead me to feel significant stress. First is my inability to say no and wanting to please everyone. This is specifically hard in the winter holiday season. Being a military family, we spend a lot of time away from our extended families, so we normally use our holiday vacations to visit and spend Christmas and the like with our loved ones. This causes a great deal of stress for our family as we rush from place to place trying to meet everyone’s demands. It leaves little room for our personal enjoyment and leaves me feeling resentful.
Another stress that can overwhelm me, and sometimes even act as a crutch, is my unrealistic expectations. I lean a little toward the obsessive and compulsive side as I have perfectionist tendencies and have certain systems and measures that work in getting tasks done. Sometimes life happens and some things have to get pushed back or I have to find an alternative way of performing my tasks, this is when I find myself a little disheveled. I find this one of my least favorable traits and I am learning to relax my expectations on things that are least important (such as the way laundry must be folded). The ABCDE theory of irrational thinking can be quite useful in disputing irrational beliefs and change the perception of stressful events (Kirst-Ashman & Hull, 2018). After this week’s readings this theory stood out to me the most so I have decided to put it into practice with myself and see if I can make some improvements in this area.
In reference to procrastination, I cannot say that I am innocent. Though I do not procrastinate all of the time, I do have some tendencies. I find that when I do procrastinate, it is because I am overly confident about the task at hand or when the task needing to be completed only affects me. If others are dependent upon my completion of a task (such as a group project in school, or a collaboration project at work/volunteer agency) then I prioritize my time so that I can complete the task efficiently and in a timely manner. What works best for me is maintaining an agenda with detailed times and dates on when events/tasks need to happen. At home we also keep a basic “home command center” (a section of a wall visible to everyone with a month calendar, a notes board, and a shelf where we can easily access items like wallets or keys). I update this calendar on a monthly basis and each member of the family gets a different color for their activities/tasks. Adults and children alike are included and we can all be up to date and informed on what we have going on for a particular day or week.
Kirst-Ashman, K. & Hull, G. (2018). Generalist practice with organizations and communities (7th ed.) Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
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