"I am currently in my clinical practicum in the Emergency Department at Children's Mercy Hospital. When I started my practicum, I went in aware that I would be exposed to very traumatic situations. Early on in my practicum, I adopted a mantra that has helped me to provide for the patients, yet also maintain my self-preservation. My mantra is, "Bad things are going to happen to people whether I am here or not. Since I am here, I can do what I can to make it better." I also ensure that I am processing any concerns I have during supervision as well. I used to dance when I was younger and have found that Jazzercise is a great way for me to exercise and fits well with my love for dance. It is a great stress reliever and feels good to do something for just me. I stopped working full-time to complete my practicum's and had to figure out a way to keep my Jazzercise membership. I provide childcare at the Jazzercise center for two hours a week that gives me a discount on my membership and also covers the cost of my membership and then some from the money I make. Definitely worth being able to continue my self-care!" ~ Rachel King 2013
"One of the most challenging things I had to learn, and still continue to learn, after graduating from Washburn with my MSW in 2010, was the importance of changing my thinking habits, to avoid burnout. Maybe it was the role of being a student for so long, or the expectation for most things in life, but I had a compelling desire to complete tasks on time, when they are due. When I first started out in the field, and could not complete tasks on my nice to-do list I had outlined that day, or complete tasks that were due that day, I would have bouts of anxious thoughts and felt physically stressed, especially in my shoulder region. At first, I didn't change my thoughts, and thought the anxiety/stress would go away by not dealing with it. Then, my shoulders were killing me one day, from the physical (psychosomatic) impacts of stress. I felt out of balance and knew I wasn't providing myself enough positive self-care.
I took some personal time outside of work to reflect, and really think about what exactly I was stressed about, and how I could reframe my thoughts about that stress/anxiety. It took some time, and I finally recognized that you will never have your "to-do" lists done in social work, or in life. You can make nice lists on pretty stationary, with nice pens, then one crisis, or event, can throw your entire day off in seconds. I believe now to make it in this field, you need to learn balance, in your thoughts, face and learn realistic expectations, recognize your human, realize you can only do so much, and not be your worst enemy when that doesn't happen".