Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ways to Keep Sane as a Case Manager

Yeah I could write take in all in stride and do it with a smile. I practically alluded to this in my “Distancing yourself from clients” post. But even I don’t smile often. My mom likes to say that you can enjoy most everything but in moderation (she was talking more about food but I think her advice eclipses beyond that). Keeping this in mind here are a few of guidelines to keeping a hold of your sanity while working as a case manager.

1) When you find the time to read try not to exclusively focus on books relating directly or loosely to your work, like Homelessness in New York or The Working Poor in America. Find literature that lightens the mood after dealing with difficult work related issues. While I have a few recommendations, I'm using this opportunity to give a nod to Miss Manners columns which I find immensely entertaining. A good balance of politeness and snarkiness.

2) With all my love to my coworkers and hanging out with them outside work, spending similar time with friends who have nothing to do with my case management job is essential. With coworkers you inevitably start talking/complaining/venting about the office, clients, other coworkers, and clients. Though some venting is helpful and I’m the first person to say I’m guilty of doing my share of this with coworkers it’s nice to talk with other friends who have other problems they want to vent to you about. Also, while you're sitting at the coffee shop with your coworkers their mere presence is more likely to remind you of something you've forgotten to do ("Man, I forgot to call-----").

3) After having a difficult interaction with a client it helps me to write down what I’m thinking about and add 20 or 30 exclamation points. Sometimes just doing that lets out my negative thoughts and cleans out my mind.

4) And of course, a favorite -- vacation.


Anonymous said...

You mention several times that you work in an office setting. I'm trying to find a case manager position where a driver's license is not required.

I imagine that this would be in a setting where the client would come to me rather than the other way around. What type of office do you work in? Nonprofit, residential, government, hospital, academic, etc?

Anatolia said...

I work in a nonprofit. It's true some nonprofits require case managers to go out in the field but the one I'm in luckily focuses much less on this. All the environments you mentioned would suit on-site case management/social work very well. Do any of them seem appealing?

Anonymous said...

I'd most like to work in academic setting. I explain my reasoning in the "Introduction" section of my blog.

I don't know if my goals are realistic though. I have a bad habit of picking things that difficult to accomplish. :-/

Do you know if there is a way for me to see when you respond to my comments without revisiting a specific post?