Social Workers: are you looking after yourself?

Your job is to look after others all day, but do you take some time out to look after yourself too? Self-care is essential to allow you to carry on supporting others so keep reading to get some wellbeing tips.


Reduce stress

This is the first step for self-care. Stress levels can range so this may be as little as making time for yourself and doing an activity that allows you to de-stress or potentially cutting down on your work hours for a few weeks. Practicing relaxation techniques also helps to reduce stress, for example yoga or breathing exercises, try different techniques out to find the best option for you. Make sure to communicate with your line manager if you are feeling burnt out, so they can offer ways to help.


Set limits

Don’t take on too much work that will end up stretching you out to fine and leading to burnout as well as a poor work/life balance. Make sure you know how much responsibility you can take on and stick to that limit.


Don’t neglect your annual leave and days off

Taking a break in the form annual leave, even if it’s just one day, will act as a reset day and ensure that you come back well-rested to be able to provide care to others. As well as this don’t book up your days off with too many plans, allow yourself time to rest and relax.


Talk to someone

Identify a clear support system, both professionally and personally. In this way you can open up about your stressors or anything on your mind and potentially get guidance and advice from whoever you speak to. With the nature of the profession, it’s important to also share the burden of difficult stories at work with your co-workers so you are not holding all those emotions in by yourself. Perhaps schedule regular de-briefs with your colleagues.

Your SP consultant is also always here to talk through a tough day or any struggles you may be having at work, as well as our blog posts and socials which regularly provide access to resources and tips.


Avoid compassion fatigue

Some social workers can experience physical and emotional exhaustion/stress from showing genuine empathy as well as helping their clients cope with trauma and distress. To prevent this, manage your time so you get some breaks during the day, learn to wind down and ensure you are getting enough sleep.


Keep all these tips in mind for when you start to feel overwhelmed due to work or start to feel burnout and here’s some resources to use, keep or share:

Mind – 0300 123 3393

Samaritans – 116 123

CALM – 0800 58 58 58

Social Work England 

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