Relationships are such an important part of self care. It is, afterall a part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. People need to have friendship and love. With all kinds of personal history and things bringing people to social work it may be even more important for our profession. We see trauma and help people on their worst days. From working in hospice to working in protective services we all need a little love when we get home.
Even if we can’t talk about work when we get home having someone who loves us for who we are as people and not as a profession is profound.
From personal experience, I know that not all families are the most loving. I have my own “found family”. A collection of people I consider my siblings, my twin, and my “adoptive” mom. Having these relationships have gotten me through good and bad times. They are there to pick me up when I am down, jump in a car if I am broken down, or just give me a hug after a long week.
I could not go this whole post without a shout out to my loving boyfriend. The person who cleans and organizes the house when I am so exhausted. The person who loves me for me and while he does not always understand my job he is so supportive. He is my pets fur-dad, my confidant, and the person who cuddles me to take all the frustrations of the day away. The person who knows exactly how to make my coffee and make me laugh. It may sound like a bunch of feel good stuff but in relationships the small things really do matter.
I know we help our clients find a support system all the time but it is up to us to find people who love and support ourselves. This is one of those times where we MUST practice what we preach.