If we constantly feel stress, drown in work and loose ourselves what is the true cost of stress in our lives and what can we do about it? What does it mean ‘to loose ourselves’? Could it be that it means we make work more important than ourselves? Is it that we allow the system we work within, to create a way of working that is contra to good health, contra to our well being and a healthy life – work balance?
Why do we accept that this job is stress-full?
Why can’t we come to work in the morning, work hard and go home in the evening with a sense of completion at the end of the working day? Why can’t we have a sense that work remains in work? Why do we allow that our home life is full of work and our work life is full of stress? What’s going on that we accept stress as normal?
Even when we are not trying to catch-up during evenings and weekends as a quick fix ‘solution’ to keep our heads above water, can we honestly say that we separate our work from our home? Are we not worrying about it in the evenings and again in the mornings when we first open our eyes? And what happens Sunday evening’s that makes us feel so uneasy that we sleep poorly, with our minds playing over what needs to be done on Monday? Then do we go to work with a bounce in our step or drag our feet, shoulder’s drooping with the weight of all we have to do? If we have the ‘quick fix solution’s’ do we fool ourselves we can ignore our problems? Can we look at our lives and honestly say this is the best way to live?
What if we decided to change the way we work?
We know our current work method’s do not serve us. How? The statistics on ill-health in social work are clear in telling us, and the way we feel about work everyday tells us also. We know it causes us to feel uneasy, to feel over burdened and out of control, to feel as if we are being chased by a tsunami of uncompleted work. If we can admit to ourselves that the way we work doesn’t work, then we can start to do look at how we can do something to change it.
What would happen if we went into work and played around with a different work-day way? Would it be uncomfortable to start to change? We know that change can seem to be challenging at first, mostly because it challenges us to be more aware of what we are doing and the effect that has on us and everyone around us. We like to stay as we are, but the cost of doing so is detriment to our own well being.
Perhaps we need to consider that if we cannot care for ourselves first, how can we provide a service that cares for others? How can we expect our clients to care for themselves and their children?
Can we challenge ourselves to work in a way that is caring and supportive to ourselves?
Self care is a primacy for the workplace, and a way of working that start’s with us. We can begin a new way of working by making simple changes to our day. Yes it would be great to have organisational support, but we don’t need to wait for that. Yes it would be great if this came from top down, but do we really need to wait for permission from elsewhere to care for ourselves? Can’t we just make changes to our day to give ourselves the support that we so badly need?
Is it possible to work in a different way?
Can we choose a way to work that allows us to feel differently at the end of each day? Perhaps take a break from the computer every hour as Health and Safety policies recommend; go outside at mid-morning and clear our heads for five minutes walk? Could we get out of our over-busy head with a focus on how we touch the key-board gently with our fingertips and gently handle the phone? Could we take a lunch break away from our desks and phones and perhaps go for a 20 minute walk? At the end of the day is it possible that we stop and get to feel that where ever we are with our workload, it’s finished and complete as it is for the day? Could we wind down in the evening, understanding we’ve had a full day and perhaps need to be gentle about how we take ourselves to sleep? And in the morning’s could we open our eyes knowing how awesome we are, and remember that as we go about our day? Could we begin to take such steps to care for ourselves, not looking for quick fix solutions but a way of being we can live with? That would certainly be a different way to work.