A supervisor once told me “don’t wait until you’re 20 years in to realize what you should have done 20 years ago.”
Social work can take a lot out of you. Matter of fact, it can take everything you have. Approximately 30-45% of child welfare staff leaves within two years (scribd.com). It will do the same to you too, if you aren’t aware and prepared.
Social work isn’t the only job like this, of course. Some others are law enforcement, nursing, and pastoral staff just to name a few.
Helping people is exhausting. It isn’t numbers. It’s people’s lives. It isn’t the same day in, day out. It’s different every time you get to work. It doesn’t end when you leave work. The big man wants more of you than you can ever give. Nothing is ever good enough. Someone, somewhere, needs your assistance.
Take a step back. It’s OK. You need not feel guilty. You actually help your cause when you take a break every once in a while. Let go of the guilt and let go of the day. Don’t plan much. Just be. Be you. Do you remember who you are? If not, find you.
I take a day off here and there. No big plans; just to have a day. A lot of times I spend it with my kiddos. Some days I send them off to school and I may not get out of bed. Or I may reorganize my closet. Or I may go grocery shopping and actually get to think about meal planning while I do it.
The key is to not feel bad about needing a day. Self-care. Care for yourself. Who else is responsible for getting that one job done? No one else but you. Take responsibility and DO IT!!!!!!! I’ve got my day scheduled for July. Do you?