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5 Ways Social Workers Can Reduce Stress

Self-care is essential when your job is helping others.

Everyone has stress—at work, at home, and out in the world. But what if your job involves caring for people who are under enormous stress or suffering from trauma?

A clinical social worker is typically on the front lines, but whatever type of social worker you are—or are studying to become—you’re going to encounter stressful situations. The complexities of the healthcare and justice systems, the challenges of particularly disturbed or emotional clients, and other circumstances beyond your control can be overwhelming. However, there are ways you can reduce your stress levels as a social worker.

5 Ways Social Workers Can Reduce Stress

The first step to resolving any problem is acknowledging that it exists. It’s essential that you take care of yourself in order to take care of others. Skilled professionals with a Master of Social Work (MSW) learn the importance of self-care and wellness. A social worker’s job is helping other people cope, but it can be easy to overlook the need for stress relief on a personal level. So, what do social workers do to cope with stress? Here are five ways to get relief:

  1. Get sleep. A good night’s sleep replenishes the mind and body. Nobody does their best work when they’re overtired.
  2. Get creative. Take up a new hobby or rekindle your interest in an old one. Learn to knit or design a container garden. Taking the time to do something you find deeply satisfying for a few minutes every day is fun and restorative.
  3. Get moving. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, stress-reducing hormones that cause an effect known as runner’s high. Find an activity you like and do it every day. You might prefer 15 minutes of hula hooping before breakfast or 20 minutes of yoga at the end of the day to a predawn 5K sprint over hill and dale.
  4. Get cooking. Taking the time to prepare a healthy, nourishing meal is easier than ever with services that deliver all the ingredients boxed up with a recipe right to your home.
  5. Take it easy. Stop sweating the small stuff and focus instead on keeping a healthy perspective. Remember that bad moods do pass. Keep yourself grounded by asking, “How will I feel about this in a year?”

The ability to identify stressors and develop coping strategies is essential for everyone with a social work career—whether you’re running an established social work practice, starting your MSW online, or pursuing your PhD in Social Work. Put yourself in position to advance your career with an online MSW program that teaches you real-world skills.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Social Work (MSW) program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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