A Time for Reflection


The dynamics of social work are ever-changing, and no one day is like the next. As it becomes time to write our monthly reports, we start to look back on the past 30 days: what our experiences have been, what we learned, what we wish we could have done differently. It is also the time when we remember all the reasons why we love social work and why we committed our careers to it, while also reflecting on why its one of the hardest jobs out there.

Chances are, that when you examine the past 30 days, you have: (1) worked extremely hard, (2)  experienced a gamut of emotions, (3)  gotten frustrated by “the system”, (4) questioned the morality of people and, (5) helped to make someone’s life a bit better. With all of that going on simultaneously, it can become easy to forget other very important points, such as: (6) did you take care of yourself, and (7) did you laugh today?

Sometimes, with all that we have going on and with how much of ourselves we invest in others, we have to remember to laugh, to exercise, to distract and treat ourselves. In order to optimally care for others, we must care for ourselves first, which is somehow a hard lesson to learn for social workers. So, whatever your self-care “thing” is, remember to do it by the end of the month and everyday after that.


About Oprah Keyes

I am a Final Year MSW Student in the Macro (Community, Management and Policy Practice) Concentration. My social work areas of interests include Juvenile and Criminal Justice, and policy reform. I am originally from a small town in the Netherlands, but moved to Chapel Hill 5 years ago to pursue by Bachelor's Degree in Sociology. I've been around here ever since and North Carolina, as well as UNC Chapel Hill, hold a special place in my heart. When I am not at school, at field, at work, or volunteering, I am probably working out, at the grocery store or sleeping, but I also like to hang out with friends and listen to music.
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