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An increased focus on mental health is needed now more than ever!
Wellbeing and Burnout
It is estimated that 2 out of 5 psychiatrists have professional burnout.
Addressing this problem has become one of the most pressing issues for medicine.
For many frontline professionals, the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental wellness. And if you are struggling, you are not alone.
While it may seem impossible to prioritize self-care in these challenging times, this is exactly when it’s needed most. This checklist can remind you to make room for moves that can help you recharge and be more stress-resistant.
In the midst of a long work shift, you may feel that you have little time for many stress management strategies. Breathing exercises, mindful meditation, and progressive relaxation techniques can be a powerful prevention tool against ongoing stress.
Exposure to death, and the grief that it may cause, is a universal life experience. Those in health care and other helping professions may be facing this experience daily. This can have a profound impact that is not always acknowledged or successfully managed.
Working in a “helping profession,” such as medicine, emergency response, social work, hospice, law enforcement, education, and others, offers great rewards, but can also take a toll. These challenging jobs bring a unique stressor – the ongoing, daily need to provide care. Helping professionals may also have to regularly manage exposure to trauma and grief. One’s capacity for compassion and empathy can feel stretched or used up. This is called compassion fatigue.
With competing pressure from work and other obligations it may seem like you have no time to prioritize self-care. Challenging times like these are when it is especially important to focus on taking good care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Remember, small steps can create big rewards. Below are some coping actions that can help you reflect on self-care opportunities even on the busiest of days
Kelley Bonner, LCSW, MA , is a burnout expert and wellness advocate. Her company, Burn Bright, helps high-achieving professionals prevent burnout through mindfulness and self-care.
Guest speaker SaraKay Smullens, MSW, LCSW, DCSW, CGP, CFLE, BCD, is a certified group psychotherapist and family life educator, and author of "Burnout and Self-Care in Social Work," available from NASW Press. She speaks about how social workers can prevent burnout at work and in their lives overall, even in the midst of a multitude of pressures.
We speak with NASW member Kristen Lee, Ed.D., LICSW, about how social workers can practice self-care during the coronavirus pandemic.