Because of the resilience and selflessness that their job requires, many social care professionals rely on yoga, meditation and mindfulness to cope. These activities give them the chance to take time for themselves so they can help take better care of others.
‘Social workers are often over-scheduled, underpaid, exposed to traumatic stories and are therefore at risk of burnout and secondary trauma,’ says Kristen Esposito Brendel, an assistant professor of social work at Aurora University, Illinois. Secondary traumatic stress is a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that has also been linked to burnouts.
For Brendel, mindfulness is a way to simultaneously ‘mediate the risks and heal the healer’.
Dedicating time to meditative practices is crucial for those working in organisations where the cumulative effects of stress can lead to physical and psychological issues.
An advantage of meditation and mindfulness is that these practices aren’t time-consuming or expensive and don’t require specific equipment. Experts say it will help you in your private life, too. You’ll learn not to bring issues from home to work, and the other way around.