May 21

5 self care questions for social workers


What are self care questions for social workers you can ask? Self-care is not selfish. Instead, it is a way for you to continue doing the great work you do. This list of questions helps you to think about whether you are spending enough time on yourself.

Am I sleeping well?

Sleep is a key indicator of stress. Sleep is one of the most therapeutic activities. As explained in Walker’s Why We Sleep, sleep restores your body, and helps you to function better. When your sleep is impaired, it shows that you are being affected by something. You might be worrying too much about a client. Or you might be thinking about the appraisal that is coming up. You might even be fussing about a conflict you’ve had with a colleague. Whilst seemingly small, these things can make it difficult for you to sleep well.

To sleep better, try this. Before you sleep, have a proper wind-down routine. Stop using your tech devices 2 hours before bed. Then, in bed, read a fiction book. It carries you to lands faraway, and helps you to relax.

When did I last do something for myself?

Do something for myself? You must be crazy! I’m supposed to help people, not help myself! I can imagine how averse you might be to doing something for yourself. But simple things, like taking a bath, having a hot chocolate, treating yourself to a meal, are important activities to help you to stay sane in the world of social work.

self care questions for social workers
Have a walk, do something for yourself

Do I hate my client?

As I saw my client sharing about the things he needed, I started to feel resentment rising within me. Who was he to demand all these? Furthermore, who did he think I was? His maid?

A key quality of good social workers is the ability to draw good boundaries, and say no to clients. When you find yourself hating your client, it can mean a few things. Firstly, you are too tired of caring for the clients’ needs. You are sick and tired of listening to their complaints all day.

Secondly, you might be frustrated with how they treat you. You might hate how they take you for granted. Whatever it is, this question reveals many things. It shows that you are too tired, and too frustrated. You need a break.

When did I ask for help?

Being humble and honest are key qualities of good social workers. Social workers aren’t heroes. We are humans. That means that we need to learn to ask for what we need. When we are always responding to people’s needs, we forget to look at our own needs. We forget that we aren’t perfect, and that we can’t do everything. We need help. And we need to ask for that.

Do I feel good?

I walked to work. Even though I was already late, I couldn’t be bothered. I just didn’t feel good. I hated the feeling of discouragement that coursed through my body.

When you ask yourself if you feel good, it reveals how you feel physically and emotionally. That can be a warning sign for the lack of self-care you might have.


This list of self care questions for social workers are not exhaustive. But they are a good guide. Remember, self-care is not selfish. It is selfless.


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