When your work is about more than just getting paid each month, it can be hard to switch off. For the majority of us in the health and social care sector, there is a desire to make a difference, which makes not being around a difficult situation, even if we do feel in need of the break.
Are you one of these people who takes their work home or do you leave it at the door?
When I began working in the health and social care sector years ago I found weekends really hard and holiday periods even worse. Christmas was the hardest of all of these.
How would my clients cope without me? What would happen to them? What if something awful happened and they needed me?
The reality was of course that whilst I hope I made a positive impact on the people I worked with, they managed before me and would equally manage after me.
That didn't stop my concern though. The first Christmas after I had started my job was awful. I was a wreck and spent much of it worrying about my clients and feeling I should contact them.
By the second Christmas, I'd had a good word with myself, as had my wonderful line manager at the time, and I was able to leave work at the door.
In some ways this made it worse as the guilt on returning to work as I heard all the horror stories of clients’ far from perfect Christmas was awful. I was a horrible person for not thinking about them during my time off work.
There must be a balance right? Have you been able to find one? It took me a few years I must admit, but I was able to at least reach some sort of peace with myself.
Here are some ideas for helping you to walk out of the door feeling as if you have done your best and that you can now spend time with your own family and friends:
None of this is easy to do if you care about your job and your clients, but taking a break is vital for your health and well-being, not to mention your relationships with friends and family.
The other important thing about taking a break is that it can actually help you come back fresh with new strategies and perspective, which in turn can progress a particular case.
Christmas is supposed to be a time for joy and happiness and celebrations with friends and family, as workers in this field, we know all too well that this doesn’t apply across the board. We are NOT however single-handedly responsible for everyone else, so be kind to yourself, do you best before you leave, do your best when you return but TRY to enjoy yourself a little in between!
What are your tips for preparing for the holiday period? We would love to know!