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Through out my career as a social worker I have had to learn to deal with many stressful situations. Being able to deal with stress is essential if you want to be an effective social worker and still maintain your own emotional health. I have used many techniques to help me relax both during the day as well as at the end of the day. During the day I will use my coffee breaks to take short walks outside. The exercise and fresh air help me to keep things in perspective.
When I come home, especially in the cold winter months I love to soak in a hot bubble bath. The hot water and the soothing fragrance of the bubble bath help to clear the mind and relax the body. My sister knows that I have always enjoyed taking a bubble bath. This is something that we did when we were growing up to help us get a good night sleep.
Last year around my birthday time I was dealing with a very stressful case at work. I had to testify in a trial that was going to determine if the parental rights of three children I was working with were going to be terminated. The children had been severely neglected and abused. The parents had spent time in prison for drug dealing as well as assault on the children so the children had been in foster care for a long period of time and were doing very well.
The foster family wanted to adopt the children so they could provide a permanent loving home for them. The children and the foster parents were very stressed about the court hearing so I was spending a great deal of time at their home as well as at the office preparing for the court hearing. My sister called several times to see when we would be able to go out to celebrate my birthday. I had to keep postponing the day because of this trial.
She could tell that I was under a great deal of stress. Several days prior to my birthday a large basket arrived for me at work. In the basket were several bottles of bubble bath, each with a different fragrance. There was also a box of chocolates and a card from my sister encouraging me to take care of myself. Her thoughtful gift gave me an idea. I went to the store and purchased bath confetti and bath toys for the two foster boys and also some bubble bath for the foster girl.
I put them in a gift bag along with a nice bottle of bubble bath for the foster mom. I went out to the foster home and encouraged them to take the time to play in the tub and relax. This is the nice thing about getting thoughtful gifts; it makes you want to give in return. I sent my sister a bouquet of flowers at her work as a thank you gift for her thoughtfulness.