All over the nation in March, it is National Professional Social Work Month. During this time, social workers are being recognized for the insurmountable work they do to get people balanced socially and emotionally.
First, let's break the misconception: social workers do many other things outside of ensuring the safety of children.
Social workers are politicians (shout out to Congresswoman Karen Bass), community organizers and motivational speakers (shoutout to Stedman Graham).
On a daily basis, social workers actively listen (without interrupting and without judging), teach people how to budget finances and even refers folks to a comedy classes to channel trauma stories (shout out to Tiffany Haddish's social worker).
But what happens when the social worker burns out, needs help and has no time to get to a social worker herself? We all know stress leads to death (on the less extreme side, physical health problems, emotional problems and relationship problems), and we all experience burnout, fatigue and emotional stressors. Here are some tips to rejuvenate when Netflix isn't enough (suggestion: consider creating a rejuvenating ritual on a daily or weekly basis to decrease burnout).
- Light Aromatherapy candles
- Place crystals strategically in your living and workspace to give you the energy you need
- Shut it down for half a day (phone off, no checking emails, smell the roses, take a nap)
- Hug someone (known to increase healthy brain activity)
- Place plants in office or home (known to relax you unconsciously)
- Place boundaries between you and emotional stressors
Notice that it doesn't take much to stay balanced. Consistent wellness plan is key.
Find yourself a social worker in March and hug or high five them. While you're at it, ask someone you know for a hug for hugging's sake (longer than 30 seconds). Your brain and body will thank you. Your mental health matters.
For those that need a little more help, therapists and other mental health providers are available. Look for one that meets your needs culturally. Reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness for assistance.