The last few years has taken its toll on people especially people who work on the frontline working directly with the public every day. Under all that pressure while fear, panic and trauma are a pandemic in itself. But let us be honest even before the pandemic hit Social Work was tough.

The Toll Paid

However social workers accept this toll and burden on their own health, more so than other profession’s. A profession that normalises feeling overloaded, overwhelmed, and overworked. Check out one of the many platforms “supporting” social workers and you will see the images of dishevelled, not coping and losing it slightly meme’s …or the articles about wanting to leave the profession or others blaming Social Workers for the behaviours of others.

All these articles, memes etc with the aim of shared experience, when you are “in it” give the message that its normal to feel like crap and it is your fault if you cannot manage it or it effects your work.

My Experience

Thankfully I feel I stepped back when my career was in a much happier position. But a few years before I stepped back from the profession I really was struggling my career was taking over everything but most of all my headspace, I couldn’t sleep, lost my relationship, my home and most importantly me the only thing I could focus on was trying to create change for others in what I saw as too much risk, not good enough standards and just and overwhelming amount of… if only we tried… Diagnosed with stress & depression and not taking the space I needed to recover, I was in constant fight or flight state, and it was impeaching on every aspect of my life. the knots in my muscles so tight I had shooting pains.

Have you ever had the experience of giving daggers to that colleague who take a lunch break and leaves on time and looks well turned out, in your head you decided she/ he isn’t as passionate about the job as you are? in your heart you are screaming it should be you having that balance.

Compassion Fatigue

I now know that part of what I was experiencing was Compassion Fatigue also known as secondary trauma or secondary shock? and it affects so many of us in the profession but has been in effect added to the job spec. This can be something that slowly builds over time or hits us out of nowhere and is often a result of caring and working with others experiencing abuse and/or trauma. Frontline workers regularly experience it. I had never heard it discussed in relation to social work although I had been in discussions where we were highlighting the risk to foster carers and adopters involved with the same families.

Do you recognise the signs of compassion fatigue?

How to Recover and Prevent Compassion Fatigue

The signs of compassion fatigue are vast and if like me you tick all the boxes you should seek medical advice. There are things that you can do to combat this, and I know you do not want to hear this, but it is about self-care, self-love and rebuilding those boundaries having compassion for yourself. This is the reason I have set up the Social Work Spa a chance to escape and focus on healthy wellbeing for Social Workers a chance to reflect, recharge and reset. In a community with the same focus.

The methods I use in the Social Work Spa community are evidenced based in supporting healing from trauma and just make you feel good. Because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself and if you looked after yourself had more balance in your life then the chance is you will love being a social worker again but, in a state, where it does not become who you, are just what you do a long with lots of other cool stuff that brings you joy.

Why not check out the community with 10 days for free you have nothing to loose and access to tapping therapy, reiki, meditations, NLP and more in what is going to be a wonderful community space.