Social Workers & Self-Care

Integrate Self-Care –

If you are a new social worker or a social work student, now is the perfect time to focus your attention on your professional development and begin integrating practices for well-being into your professional and personal life. Pause now and assess your professional development plan for this year. Assess your capacity for taking care of yourself. Determine how you might increase your well-being in the upcoming months.

Be deliberate. Be intentional. You and your clients will benefit. Explore the many ways you can support your professional development, initiate self-care practices, and take care of your mental health.

4 Self-Care Practices for Social Workers

  1. Make time for Self-Reflection:  Carve out time now for self-reflection. Set yourself up for success. Consider all of what worked well for you in the past. Consider those moments where you struggled. What helped you keep a positive momentum and mindset? What hindered your progress? These a just a few questions you might ask yourself. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Be sure to give yourself time to sit with your answers. Use these questions as journal prompts or as topics to talk about in supervision.

  2. Daily Journaling & Morning Pages: Try doing what Julia Cameron calls morning pages. Consider evening as a time for reflection and journaling. Try free-writing for 10 minutes at lunchtime. Get a journal that has writing prompts to guide your writing.

  3. Mindfulness Practices: Explore various mindfulness practices as described and guided by practitioners like Tara Brach, Pema Chodron, Sharon Salzberg, or Kristen Neff.  Each of these people has podcasts and offer guided mindfulness and meditations.  This is a helpful and accessible way to explore the world of mindfulness. and meditation.

  4. Intention Setting & Affirmations:  Identify a word, phrase, or affirmation that you can carry with you into each day. You and your clients will benefit.
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Find Tools for Self-Care, Self-Reflection, and Supervision

I have created practical tools to help social workers foster your skills of  self-care & self-reflection and capitalize on clinical supervision.

Hear Mary Speak More About Supporting Social Workers
Mary has been interviewed several times by Valeria on the podcast called, “Fit for Joy, a Quest for Well-Being.” Hear what Mary has to say about her work as clinical social worker, educator, supervisor, and social work career coach.

Enjoy a brief animated audio clip from Mary’s interview at this Think in Possibilities Blog post.  about bout how she supports social workers to do their healing work and practice self-care in order to be able to effectively support their clients.

You can listen to the full hour-long interview on
episode #190 of “The Quest for Well-Being” podcast.