Social Work Warrior Student Wellness
The past year has challenged all of us. From a global pandemic to devastating events highlighting racial inequity and a very contentious election – we've all had a lot on our plates. At times it has been difficult to concentrate and to figure out this 'new' normal, but we are here to help. Our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series highlights student experience accounts acknowledging the physical, social and emotional toll of the last year, while at the same time recognizing the resilience displayed by our social work student community. Throughout the series, we encourage students to identify their stressors and new challenges, acknowledge grief and loss, be open to new ways to cope, be actively present, keep moving forward and remember the first step to helping others is helping yourself.
In a recent survey, nearly half of Wayne State Social Work students reported managing work/life, keeping up with assignments, and transitioning to online school/work as their top stressors. In the first installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we explore the power of acknowledging our stressors and recognizing that S.T.R.E.S.S. can result when Someone Tries to Repair Every Situation Solo.
What has caused you stress?
We have each experienced new hurdles from the last year differently. For some, the unexpected need for childcare arose. For others, the challenge of mounting isolation from pandemic restrictions took hold. In the second installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we look at the unique ways we each experience new challenges and needs.
How have you been affected by events of the last year?
The challenges of the past year have resulted in many of us looking for new ways to cope. Students have connected virtually with friends and family, tried out yoga/mindfulness activities, established accountability partners, obtained tutoring help, joined student organizations, listened to podcasts, read something positive daily, gotten organized and found fulfillment in reaching out and helping others. In the third installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we examine the various ways fellow students have learned to cope.
Are you open to trying something new?
The past year has challenged all of us and we have all experienced some degree of grief and loss. From losing loved ones, jobs, and homes, to the experience of being part of a community with fellow students on campus, and more. In the fourth installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we delve into the ways in which students have experienced grief and loss, including hiding it, masking it and carrying on, along with the importance of establishing a support person/team to walk a path of healing and remind us to share our wins as well - no matter how small.
Did you let others witness your grief? Did you share your wins?
The past year has challenged all of us and can make the future hard to conceive. In the fifth installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we take a look at what it means to be actively present in daily tasks such as assignments and family obligations. We also recognize that it's okay to live with the uncertainty of "I don't know" – know that your future is waiting for you when you're ready.
How can you be actively present?
The past year has challenged all of us. It has created new struggles and forced many of us to recognize our own personal difficulties in asking for help, confronting our shame and feelings of failure, surrendering control and acknowledging our need. In the final installment of our Social Work Warrior Student Wellness series, we acknowledge that everyone struggles including social workers, and as you launch the next year, know there is a way to move forward. The first step to helping others is to help yourself.
Will you ask for help when you need it?