Community service training allows you to work in various industries helping people manage their personal and social issues. If you’re seeking a career path that allows you to help others overcome the struggles of life, this occupation will likely be fulfilling to you. That being said, taking on your clients’ struggles without adequate self-care can cause sometimes lead to burnout.
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It’s caused by prolonged exposure to stress, and in extreme cases, it can leave workers in the helping professions unable to function in their roles. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent burnout by employing proper self-care strategies. When you take the time to meet your physical, emotional, and mental needs, you’re in a better position to provide support for members of the community. Keep reading for some great self-help strategies that you can try today.
Understand the Seven Pillars of Self-Care
The International Self-Care Foundation identifies seven pillars of self-care. When you understand them, you can take a more holistic approach to improve your self-care habits; these are:
- Knowledge and Health Literacy – To practice self-care properly, you need to possess basic health knowledge to make good health-care decisions.
- Mental Well-Being, Self-Awareness, and Agency – To take action to improve or protect your well-being, you need to be able to accurately evaluate your health and wellness, such as health screening.
- Physical Activity – Exercise is an essential component of good health. To care for yourself adequately, you should know how much exercise you need and incorporate it into your daily routine during and after community service training.
- Healthy Eating – A balanced, nutritious diet is beneficial in various ways, including disease prevention and healthy energy levels. Proper self-care involves being mindful of your diet and understanding its connection with the quality of your output.
- Risk Avoidance and Mitigation – We all have different tolerance levels when it comes to risk. That being said, practicing self-care involves avoiding unnecessary risks that can cause harm to us.
- Good Hygiene – Good hygiene is an important disease prevention practice and contributes to an individual’s personal dignity. Taking the time to care for your hygiene, such as washing your hands, is a great way to promote proper self-care.
- Rational and Responsible Use of Self-Care Products and Services – This dimension of self-care refers to using safe medicines and other treatments to maintain one’s health.
Create a Support System as a Community Service Worker
As a community service worker, you may grow accustomed to being a source of support for clients and even those in your personal life. It may become difficult or feel unnatural for you to ask for help. It’s important to remind yourself that relying on others can reduce your stress levels to avoid burnout and be fully attentive to your clients. Spend time with people who energize and build you up regularly, Don’t hesitate to ask for help whether you need another household member to complete a specific chore or simply offer a listening ear.
Set Boundaries Between Work and Home
Those pursuing a community service training often possess a great capacity for empathy. This ability will be a major asset when it comes to supporting your clients, but it can present a challenge when setting and maintaining clear boundaries between work and home. It’s not uncommon for workers in the helping professions to experience difficulty keeping their minds off work even hours after they’ve clocked out. This can cause elevated stress levels, fatigue, and a limited ability to stay present at home. These effects can breed burnout and turmoil in personal relationships.
By creating a wind-down routine, you can train your brain to shift your focus from work to home at the end of the day. Self-care practices from the seven pillars mentioned above, like exercising, preparing a nutritious meal, spending time in nature, or doing a mindfulness activity, can be effective transition activities. By applying the self-care tips discussed here and developing key community service competencies in our career college programs, you can be fully prepared to take on the demands of this important role.