In our work, regardless of the industry, we often find ourselves being pulled one way and another … both at the same time. How do we look after ourselves so that we don’t ‘snap’ in half?
Maybe it’s about balance.
Whilst looking through the Self-Care Cards for Home and Work, a new resource soon to be released by St Luke’s Innovative Resources, I couldn’t help but think of both my daughters who are beginning very different careers, and the challenges they have learned to conquer in relation to Giving, Receiving and Balance at work.
One daughter is very clever with digital marketing, and in her first twelve months she has become the ‘go to’ person in the marketing agency for all questions around digital marketing campaigns for numerous business clients. She became so overwhelmed by sorting issues that had come up for everyone else that she was staying late to finish her own work. Then her frustration and fatigue boiled over and she became grumpy towards her colleagues at work.
After considering concepts of giving and receiving, she developed strategies to help the team move forward in a more productive and positive way. As an example, she now meets with everyone first thing each morning, making sure each person is clear on what they are to do, and where the day’s priorities lie. In this way, she is giving them guidance at the start of each day.
In return, she lets them know in advance, when her ‘non-contact’ time is. In other words, she allocates a period of time each day were she is not to be interrupted, and can get her own work done. In this way, she is receiving from her colleagues some clear time to get through her duties for the day.
What my daughter has achieved in the workplace is a balance between her needs and those of her colleagues.
My other daughter works in a very busy pharmacy, and in her role of dispensing medication, she gives and receives information all day. Sometimes the information she has to give is not what customers want to hear, and so she often receives insults and verbal abuse that can be hard to take. Of course, this is balanced with the times when she gives and receives useful and complimentary comments, reinforcing why she has chosen this particular career path.
Over the last twelve months I have seen my daughter grow in her ability to not carry the insults and negativity shown by some customers. She has learnt to look for the balance in her work, and to reflect on how she has been able to help people, within the legal and compliance framework that she is bound to operate within.
In a social work setting we often hear about vicarious trauma, where the difficulties faced by clients becomes a burden on the worker’s shoulders. Time away from work or professional help may be required to maintain self-care and separate ‘self’ from the circumstances of others.
Self-Care Cards for Work and Home has been developed for workplaces and individuals to start conversations about self-care, including questions on managing elements like balance. Social workers and other human services professionals have been forefront in the mind of the Innovative Resources editorial team throughout the whole design and development process.
We hope that this resource, beautifully-illustrated with original art, will help you, your team and your organisation to appreciate the importance of self-care, and take action … both at work and at home.
What is your self-care strategy, at work or at home?
Please share it with us and our readers.