In spite of the fact, the human organism is able to recover quickly, and it can overcome a lot of stressful situations successfully, its energy is not endless. Many people feel the emotional and physical exhaustion which are caused by the particular features of their work, and they can result in the professional burnout. Counselors are also at risk because of the specifics of their work. The necessity to contact people much, help them overcome their personal problems, provide understanding and commitment can lead to further burnout. Professionals often concentrate on their work results, but they do not pay much attention to their own emotional and physical needs. Thus, the high workload, significant emotional tensions, and stresses can result in the counselors’ personal problems, which can affect the level of their competency. That is why it is important to focus on self-care techniques in order to maintain the balance between the professional and personal life, prevent the negative results of ongoing stresses and challenges, and be effective in all the life spheres.
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It is possible to accentuate the necessity to respond to the clients’ needs in order to be an effective and responsible practitioner who cares for his clients’ wellness, emotional stability, and social effectiveness. The role of an empathic counselor who is able to listen to his clients attentively and give them a piece of advice is important for those people who need support and help. However, counselors also require the necessary compassion and support in order to have enough energy to help their clients. Thus, self-care is an important component of the person’s development because of the necessity to satisfy personal demands, overcome emotional challenges, and control work stresses. The professional activity of counselors is based on the necessity to contact a lot of people and help them resolve their personal issues (Murphy & Dillon, 2011). Such an occupation is closely connected with the risk of professional burnout, and self-care can be discussed as an effective method to overcome the problem and balance the life spheres.
The self-care practices are useful when they are incorporated in the person’s life on a regular basis to help the organism preserve the energy and life balance. It is important to note that self-care practices should involve physical and mental exercises as well as opportunities for emotional relaxation. Murphy and Dillon concentrate on determining several methods of self-care for counselors, which are the creation of a supportive environment, self-empathy, the focus on personal time, and health practices (Murphy & Dillon, 2011). To maintain vigor and perform as a professional effectively, it is important to have regular communication with relatives and stable social interactions with friends and colleagues. The supportive environment is significant for people because of their needs for affirmation, and those persons who can give a good piece of advice are influential when it is necessary to overcome a challengeable situation. Moreover, regular contacts with relatives and friends are important for persons to receive emotional support, and good relations with colleagues are significant for creating the comfortable atmosphere at work (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2009). That is why, it is important to plan activities with references to the time for communication.
Counselors should have the high level of empathy to respond effectively to their clients’ problems the resolution of which is often based on the understanding and commitment. Nevertheless, it is also helpful to pay attention to responding to the personal needs because those persons who are oriented to self-empathy are also empathic in relation to the other people (Murphy & Dillon, 2011). A counselor cannot be a responsible professional when he is not responsible for his own needs, emotional state and health. It is important to have time for the outside interests and hobbies which help relax from the everyday work routine. A lot of people suffer from overworking because the work problems also occupy their minds when they are not at their workplace. It is necessary to distinguish between the working hours and leisure time to preserve the necessary balance in life. Counselors often advise physical exercises as the way to overcome the negative stress effects. However, definite health practices should be also followed by counselors themselves because their work can be discussed as one of the most stressful occupations. Such practices as yoga and meditation are necessary for people to feel active and full of energy. Furthermore, people often do not pay attention to the importance of the healthy diets and enough sleep. The basic rules of self-care are to have enough sleep, follow the nutritious diet, do regular exercises which can be the part of the fitness program, yoga or walking and jogging. That is why, following the principles of the healthy lifestyle and focusing on the interesting hobby, it is possible to reduce the risk of stress and increase the life energy and professional effectiveness.
Being a professional in a field of counseling, it is necessary to develop a personal plan according to which it will be possible to balance the life spheres and regulate the workload. It is important to pay attention to the fact that a person cannot complete all the tasks effectively when he or she suffers from overworking and has no enough time for relaxation. Thus, it is necessary to set the priorities and distinguish the limits in the working process (Seligman & Reichenberg, 2009). People cannot perform effectively when they have to work on the brink of a possible. Professionals should determine the time for their families, social interactions, physical activities, and hobbies. Moreover, setting a work schedule, it is necessary to assess the personal abilities and make conclusions about the workload because the overworking with constant stresses contributes to the quick professional breakout. For instance, it is important for the physical and emotional health to fix such days as Saturday and Sunday as the days for the family rest or active leisure time.
Focusing on caring for the other people, it is necessary to remember about self-care as one of the most significant life principles. People should not feel guilty paying much attention to their interests and hobbies because it is the major component of the effective relaxation. Organisms cannot function effectively without good rest. Emotional isolation and concentration only on the clients’ problems can lead to the counselors’ emotional exhaustion. The lack of positive emotions and the necessary support can lead to the depression. The lack of physical activities and unhealthy habits can lead to the decrease of vigor. Thus, to be an effective professional, it is necessary to concentrate not only on competence and professional skills and abilities but also on self-care.
Murphy, B. C. & Dillon, C. (2011). Interviewing in action in a multicultural world. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Seligman, L. W. & Reichenberg, L. W. (2009). Theories of counseling and psychotherapy: Systems, strategies, and skills. Boston: Pearson.