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Being a Registered manager in Social care is one of the toughest jobs

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Being a Registered manager in Social care is one of the toughest jobs I have come across in all my years of working in care.

You have to have more skills and tricks than Mary Poppins!

You have more hats than her hat stand has space for!

You have to spin more plates than those folks that you pay to see at the Big Top.

You get paid for a 40-hour week and you are responsible 365 days a year (ignoring leap years) and this is 24 hours a day. I’m not going to do the maths on that one for the hourly pay reality.

So how do you make all of this much easier? Especially in times like this.

Get your physical, mental, and emotional health in the best possible place.

So, if you are reading this and are not feeling tip-top, ask yourself ‘what small steps can I take to make sure I’m feeling tip top?’

and when you have the answer, take action and be consistent.

We are seeing so many people with huge amounts of skill and knowledge leaving the sector at the moment, it doesn’t have to be you.

There is a way that you can feel supported and empowered.

I know, I know it’s so easy for me to say yet in the reality of the social care world it’s so much more difficult.

A few months ago, my health took a real turn, and not for the positive and it was the kick up the bootie that I needed. My body made me sit down and listen.

So, how did I make the changes that my body and my brain needed?

I sat down. I stopped.

The first call was to the Drs and I know that’s not so easy at the moment yet you have to be persistent and find a way to be heard. The next step was for me to take a step back. To look at my life and see what I could change and what I couldn’t.

You see that’s the funny thing with stepping back, you get to see a wider perspective. Try it. Just pop your hand right in front of your face and notice how much stuff disappears from view. Now take your hand away from your face and everything you see looks different, clearer.

Next was removing all the stuff I couldn’t control and ensuring that I had just what I needed to have in my life at the time. This was hard, I walked away from a friendship and knew that I needed to do it. I explained why and said I needed some me, cave time and they understood. You see the thing is you can’t be everything to everyone.

As nurses and carers, we spend so much of our time caring for others yet we just don’t care for ourselves in the same way.

Next, I had to be honest with my family about how I was feeling and the reasons why. That was hard as I don’t want to worry them and that part is unavoidable because, well, they do like and love me.

I knew that I needed to focus on stuff that I could control and that others around me needed to be responsible for stuff that they can control. I also delegated, moved projects back, and decided to ask for help with some of the things that were getting on top of me.

Ask for help!? I know it’s a bizarre concept and especially in today’s society, it seems like the less easy thing to do. With glamorous lives played out on social media, do we want to be different? I’m more than happy to be different and always have been. I guess you can’t put a square peg in a hole.

I then accepted where I was. Acceptance is key, it just allows us to be. The past I didn’t need to fight against and the future I will take care of when it gets here. In the present, only dealing with the present, things are easier.

Now all of this is easy for me to say especially with my knowledge and skills. I’ve trained my brain and body to work together and pay attention to one another. I’m also an assertive woman who doesn’t have a problem saying what her needs and wants are.

What if you are not? What if putting yourself first is a concept that you have never dared to think about? One that you were told as a child was a selfish approach to life. Always told to sit still and be quiet? So now you’ve just learnt not to ask for help in case you get told to sit still and be quiet? What if every time you went to say something you were told to either shut up or just ignored? You see the thing is we learn stuff through our lives, either what we are told, or what we see and then we establish patterns of behaviour that we run, just like a computer.

It’s these patterns we need to change if we want to improve the way we live our lives. If we want to respond and not react and if we want to stay in a job that is getting crazier by the day.

Start small.

Ask yourself today what small things you can change about the big things that get you down. The biggest thing you can change is you. Control you and you will massively influence everyone around you.

Here is Ben’s story. In 2021 he had a really difficult time. Now, he is thriving and he loves his job more than ever.