Do You Work to be VALUED or to be ACCEPTED?
Working in the Health and Social Care sector is stressful as you help people experiencing various challenges. The situations could trigger your unresolved past, or they may be too traumatic to learn about others’ sufferings, or you can manage the situation well.
Stress is helpful as it alerts you to make instant decisions and take immediate actions to a perceived threat. For survival, your brain’s options are to fight, flight or freeze.
However, stress is harmful when you experience it for a long time. Your body produces chemicals to fight the danger, but they are not being used. According to Positive Intelligence, when you experience negative emotions for more than a second, then you have been hijacked by your saboteurs. This pattern goes on in a loop. Continuous stress leads to distress.
A work environment where you feel supported, encouraged, valued, included, and accepted provides a conducive, productive work spirit and growth. Whereas confidence, productivity and performance are affected when you are treated ‘just like the rest’ and categorised to ‘fit in a box’. Your individuality and uniqueness are disregarded.
These are additional sources of stress. You play many roles in life; your past experiences and fears are just individual parts of your experiences that impacts and affects your life. The interconnectedness of those individual experiences makes your life whole. When you ignore any part of your experiences it leaves you feeling incomplete.
You do not feel safe and secure to share your personal experiences. You have informal conversations with senior colleagues and managers and shockingly enough a colleague(s) uses the phrases to you about your experiences😨. You feel betrayed because you cannot imagine who else knows about your ‘dark side’🤦♀️.
Even in formal discussions, this could be in supervision and counselling sessions, you fear to share your personal challenges as the consequences will be the same as with informal conversations.
Confidentiality documents are displayed in offices and in folders, however its usage alters in daily practice and experiences and there is no guarantee it would be maintained.
In my opinion, the experience of personal challenges and maintaining confidentiality is influenced by either of these choices ‘play the game’ or ‘be true to yourself’.
You have a passion to help people and that’s one reason you got into this profession. You want people’s challenging situations to improve, and you provide the best support. Sometimes you overwork without re-energising and resting the body. Eventually it starts affecting your physical, mental, and emotional health, performance, and productivity. It’s common to ignore the early warning signs as you tell yourself ‘I can manage’, ‘I have experience worse things’. Slowly and surely the signs become chronic.
Before you realise, ‘burnout’ comes knocking. Pay attention to your body as it always signals you when your body needs attention.
I experienced burnout and some of the symptoms were mental fatigue, feeling emotionally drained, disturbed sleep, physical tiredness, drained energy, confusion, irritability, poor concentration, and I was anxious.
This affected my work performance, health, and relationship especially with my family. I worked long hours from home, yet I had no time to spend with my family.
There is a ‘bitter truth’ about your job that you MUST know.
You are only important because of the services you offer and not about your unique individuality. The day you leave your job, someone will replace you immediately and take over the job you did.
You can find yourself stuck on a job/career because of the money you get to meet your financial needs. Re-evaluate your job/career to identify:
👉the satisfaction you get from it,
👉if it aligns with your life purpose,
👉what can you do to improve your situation?
Stress can be prevented, for example, by taking regular holidays to rest, relax and re-energise, nourishing the body, mind and spirit. However, in my community it is common that when holidays are due, workers choose to pick up ‘extra shifts’ or they take off holiday from one job and increase their hours with another job. The reason is to get more money.
On the contrary, the workers who take holidays engage in very laborious activities that does not help them rest, rather this contributes to further stress. Thus, after the holiday, they feel much exhausted than when they went off.
The common belief and mindset are that ‘hard work is the key to success’. Sadly enough, this belief is false. You need to ‘work smarter’ instead.
No one will value you more than how you value yourself.
🚩Recognise warning signs and take preventive actions;
🚩Take regular breaks and holidays to rest and re-energise;
🚩Develop relaxation techniques that work for you to help you calm down and focus;
🚩Practice journaling daily to identify patterns in your life and make necessary adjustments;
🚩Let go of things out of your control;
🚩Learn new things;
🚩Engage in social activities and things you enjoy;
🚩Get appropriate support;
🚩Be mindful of your environment as it impacts and influence stress.
❓PS – If you struggle to value yourself more, then are here for you. ❓❓