This article explores some self-care tips that might be used by professionals working in the field of human services. The article provides three strategies that are useful to human-services professionals especially those in the field of domestic disputes.
Human service professionals reap several benefits from their work but they also encounter obstacles that make their work stressful. It is often fruitful to assist those people who are in need and human services professionals derive great pleasure from doing this work. However, burnout is a serious concern for social workers because it affects both the worker and his/her clients.
Human service professionals can experience burnout due to various reasons including handling an increased workload, encountering tasking cases, unrealistic expectations from their superiors, and inadequate remuneration. All these reasons might prompt a healthcare professional to experience burnout.
Consequently, it is important for a human-services professional to understand his/her limits. Self-understanding assists professionals to identify with their clients in a better way (Miller, 2009). To avoid or deal with burnout, individuals should devote their time and efforts to self-care activities. This paper offers a few self-care activities that might be useful to domestic dispute professionals in their bid to avoid burnout.
Establishing boundaries is one way for self-care professionals to avoid burnout in the course of their activities. On most occasions, human-services professionals get to establish close relationships with their clients. Consequently, it is possible for human services professionals to ignore some personal and professional boundaries in the course of their work.
Nevertheless, establishing and adhering to certain boundaries would assist a human-services professional to avoid burnout. For example, when working with domestic dispute victims, it is important for the professional to outline which type of contact is appropriate for his/her clients.
In some instances, calling might be the only acceptable form of contact for clients. On the other hand, a professional’s home might be out of bounds for clients. When boundaries are established, it becomes easier for the domestic dispute professional to plan for his/her self-care.
Another great self-care tip is taking well-deserved time off. Some human-service professionals feel guilty when they are taking time off their work (Leatz & Stolar, 2003). Working in the human-services field comes with a lot of stress. The government realizes this fact and it offers human-services professionals up to six weeks of vacation annually. Consequently, professionals should be able to enjoy their downtime with clear consciences.
Domestic dispute professionals should be able to enjoy their vacations and off-days freely. In case of emergencies, a domestic dispute professional should delegate his/her duties to a colleague. Taking time off is one of the best strategies that can be used by domestic dispute professionals to avoid burnout. Most organizations provide domestic dispute professionals with adequate time off. However, for the professionals who work independently, the task of designating enough time off falls upon themselves.
Another self-care strategy for domestic dispute professionals is consulting and collaborating with colleagues. A known cause of burnout is handling heavy and intense workload. Professionals can alleviate the burden of an intense workload by consulting and collaborating with their fellow professionals (Reid & Schram, 2012).
For instance, a domestic dispute professional can refer some of his/her client to a colleague. In addition, a domestic dispute professional can refer some cases to colleagues with more experience. For example, if a case of domestic counseling advances to severe psychological issues, a domestic dispute professional might seek consultations with a mental health expert.
Leatz, C. A., & Stolar, M. W. (2003). Career success/personal stress: How to stay healthy in a high-stress environment. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Miller, G. (2009). Finding happiness for ourselves and our clients. Journal of Counseling and Development, 79(1), 382-385.
Reid Mandell, B., & Schram, B. (2012). An introduction to human services: Policy and practice. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.