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Ways to Prevent Burnout with Positive Psychology: Part Two.

Anyone who’s ever met social care workers will know how much heart and soul goes into the profession – but this leaves many vulnerable to burnout and compassion fatigue.

We recently brought you Hunt the Good Stuff: Protect Yourself from Burnout with this Simple Habit.

This week we’re back again to bring you Part Two – another tip on ways social workers, mental health practitioners and other community services workers can prevent burnout in an industry where it’s prevalent.

Read on to find out more.

Prevent burnout by forgetting about the world

Yep, you read that right!

Have you ever found yourself so absorbed in a task or client situation that you’ve forgotten about the outside world for a while?

The practice of ‘being present’ is also known as mindfulness.

Mindfulness is excellent because it gives our brains a break from thinking about too many things at once… which is pretty mentally taxing and can contribute to burnout.

It’s far too easy today for our brain activity to be consumed by things like:

  • thinking about case notes, reports and other paperwork we need to file
  • wondering how our clients are going
  • worrying whether we’ll have enough time to prepare for our clients, e.g. review their case notes before a meeting
  • running through to-do lists of miscellaneous admin we need to get done, e.g. calling X person or Y department about a client before they close
  • switching between a million different tasks so you don’t feel like you’re getting much done
  • getting distracted and pulled off track by endless email and phone notifications…

Sound familiar?

Don’t worry – we all do it! It’s hard not to in this day and age – but practising mindfulness can help.

How does mindfulness work?

Being fully present with each task we do and person we’re with – whether at work, home or elsewhere – slows brain activity, helping us to feel clamer, more centred and more relaxed.

Plus, by just focusing on one thing at a time, we’re more likely to see out each task to completion, helping us feel more productive, which can also create more positive self-esteem.

You might just find your mood improving, too!

When it comes to positive psychology, practice makes progress

Practising mindfulness and being present requires just that – practice!

As we mentioned in Hunt the Good Stuff, our brains are adaptive… but that doesn’t mean it happens overnight.

Like any other skill or habit, being present will become easier and more automatic the more we do it.

When we find it hard to be present, it’s important not to beat ourselves up. Getting irritated is the opposite effect of what we want!

Instead, just ‘notice’ that it’s happened, smile at yourself for being human, and gently try again. Then repeat 😊

 

Do you have any other practices to prevent burnout in your profession? Share your experiences with other readers in the comments, and stay tuned for more positive psychology tips in our next post to protect yourself from burnout.

Be. Recruitment is a leading recruitment agency in the social care sector. If you’re thinking about the next step in your social care career, or are looking for quality candidates to fill your organisation’s vacancies, get in touch with our expert consultants for a chat today.

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