Learning to Pace Myself

Anyone who has been in social work for a minute knows how quickly practice can become overwhelming. The task list is always growing, the backlog of documentation is piling, and there is a new fire to put out daily.

Each day I would organize and allocate time obsessively to ensure I could get everything done that I wanted to. My stress levels peaked as my expectations for myself rose beyond what I was capable of. Being the coordinator of a program is a new adventure for me and I have never had to set my own pace. I was accomplishing a lot and receiving praise, however, I started to hate my work. I had a knot in my stomach anytime I thought about work.

At this point, it was evident I needed to do something different. I sought out answers, the same way I would for a client. What I found was “The Miracle of Mindfulness”, by Thich Naht Hanh. Since incorporating mindfulness into my life, I have been able to allow myself to work at a slow, even leisurely pace. Not only has it brought me pleasure to the most mundane tasks (documentation, but it has increased my effectiveness because I am singularly focused on what is in front of me.  Most importantly, it has brought me peace and sanity.

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