Looking After Your Mental Health When Studying Social Work at College
Studying for a social work degree, such as a masters in social work online, can be very mentally taxing. Depending on the area of social work that you are planning to work in, your degree could involve working on the front line with service users, and you may even hear stories that upset you during your studies. Because of this, it’s just as important to ensure that you look after your mental health as much as your physical health whilst at college, especially if you are quite a sensitive and caring person who’s likely to be affected by some of the things that you may see and experience when helping others. We’ve listed some of the best ways to look after your mental health as a social work student.
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When you are studying for your MSW online from Rutgers Online, you might feel anxious, down, or even depressed about your workload or even the topics. Along with learning about cases that might not be very nice to hear about, the combination of getting work experience with service users whilst studying for your degree and working towards assignments and exams can bring about a combination of stress and upset for many students. Because of this, it’s important to fully utilize the counseling services offered by your college. Be sure to see a doctor if you feel that your mental health is getting in the way of your ability to do things.
When you are going into a caring profession such as social work, which is mainly centered on helping and supporting others, you will always perform better at your job when you care for yourself well, first and foremost. When studying to become a social worker, you will quickly realize the importance of self-love, self-care, and simply looking after yourself with a good diet, making sure that you get enough sleep, and ensuring that you are resting.
Not only is exercising good for our physical health, weight and figure, it can also greatly improve mental health, too. Since physical activity releases ‘feel-good’ hormones into the bloodstream, it also helps to increase the amount of serotonin in your brain, which will help to ward against feeling down and depressed and give your mood a boost. When you work hard to keep your body strong, it’s also easier to strengthen your mind.
One of the best habits that you can get into as a social work student is being reflective. Keeping a reflective journal is often encouraged for students training to go into caring professions such as this, and doing so can be a great way to determine your strengths and weaknesses to ensure that you make the best decisions for yourself when it comes to things such as choosing a field of social work to specialize in, or choosing a work experience placement to undertake.
Training to be a social worker can often mean that you have to deal with things that could affect your own mental health. Getting into good habits to protect and look after your mental health at college will help you to manage this better in your professional career.