Self-care. You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup.
Self-care is an essential skill for anyone working in employment services. In an industry that can be incredibly stressful, it’s critical to take care of yourself first, so you are the very best for your clients and employer.
In an industry report from the National Employment Services Association (Australian Employment Services Workforce Survey, 2018) it was revealed that 42.8% of the people surveyed indicated that stress was the main reason for taking leave from their workplace. With high caseloads, competing priorities from your employer, and trying to get the best outcomes for your clients, it’s no wonder the statistics are so high.
So now, I want you to imagine you have a cup in your hands and in that cup is your positive emotions, your reasons for motivation, your energy to be the best version of you. Keeping your cup full is what drives you in life, and any overflow from that cup is what you give to others. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and you can’t give to others what you don’t have. So, it’s important to make sure your cup is full before you start giving its contents away. If the cup in your hands is feeling a little light, it might be time to look at strategies to fill it back up.
Why practise self-care?
How we handle stress, can at times lead us to an unresourceful state where the level of stress becomes detrimental to our mental health, meaning that our work and personal lives can really suffer. So how do you fill up your cup to reduce that everyday stress?
The short answer – through self-care. The term “self-care” refers to activities and practices that we can engage in regularly to reduce stress and maintain and enhance health and wellness. It is an intentional way of living by our values, attitudes, and actions and integrating them into our day-to-day routines. Self-care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honouring not only your professional but your personal commitments as well.
Practising self-care will help you:
- Identify and manage the general challenges that all hard-working professionals face and understand your own personal vulnerabilities.
- Put controls in place to minimise the potential for burnout, compassion fatigue and relationship breakdowns.
- Allow you to have clarity, understanding and direction in your workplace.
- Achieve more balance in your life, by maintaining and enhancing the attention you pay to the different areas of your life in a way that makes sense to you.