Self-care

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We cannot simply sit and stare at our wounds forever.

We must stand up and move on to the next action.

Don’t think I can emphasise on the importance of self-care as much as it deserves.

Different people have different coping mechanisms, but what seems to be a common one is to always remind yourself of why you first started, where your passion lies, and what are your motivations. Sure enough, we witness the uglier side of humanity on a daily basis as social workers – how do we then decide when it is time to let the passion take a step back, and honestly reflect and reconsider upon this choice to be a social worker?

In recent weeks, I have seen friends fall deeper and deeper into the pit of low mood….. and the helplessness is legit. And yet I find myself struggling to stay afloat as well, yes there are good days that make things seems a whole lot better, but how do we also then manage those bad days when everything seems to be a mistake? It hurts to be helpless, it hurts to admit that we are helpless. And it’s difficult to reach out for help.

Nothing is black, nothing is white. In this profession, everything is grey, and that’s what makes our work so meaningful, that’s what makes our work exciting, and yet that’s what makes our work so frustrating too. It’s good to be aware of your frustrations, because it then makes you more focused on knowing what should be done next to mend those gaps – to change that frustration into motivation. But the question then would be, where do we draw the line?

How could what makes our profession so beautiful, be the very same thing that eventually causes people to leave the profession? I hope I’ll never find the answer to that question.

Being in the medical setting also means that something we can’t run away from is death. When we mourn, when we grief, what goes through our minds exactly? Does the sadness stem from a selfish belief of being unable to achieve certain things, or is it due to perceived regrets by the deceased?

When we think about the question “what does death mean to you?”, we can’t run away from also thinking about “what does living mean to you?” Just wondering, how important is it for workers to have our own answers, before we are ready to work with others? Will we ever be ready?

And as professionals, what kind of regrets surface when we face the death of our patients? Given our role in this, and that the harsh truth is that our time is finite and we aren’t here as befrienders, we do not have the luxury of time to spend with them. So when the quantity is compromised, let’s at least make sure that the quality isn’t.

Of late night thoughts and reflections. Till the next time.

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