For many charities, the end of the financial year approaches and, with it, an escalation in stress levels.
This will be against a background of a rising tension that is permeating the sector. Reports indicate that a combination of diminishing grant funding, the public sector commissioning culture, growing demand for services, concerns about staff and volunteers and even Brexit, in some cases, are resulting in mounting worries about the future for leaders in our field of work.
Reports of overwork, increasing sick leave and burn out in general are becoming more frequent, it seems.
Recognising early signs is a vital first step The website Charity Job recommends:
Being immersed in your charity work around the clock, you’re probably not fully aware of how you should manage stress. Whether it is eating, exercising or sleeping; you have to restore your energy, motivation and momentum. Learn that your health is more important, then you can take care of others. So whenever you feel like you’re in a quicksand, overwhelmed or drowning; just know what is right for your physical and emotional well-being.
Equally important is to look for indications in others and to be able offer encouragement and support.
Having acknowledged the problem, take advice, if only from the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/reduce-stress/
Dealing with the most dreadful of client stories day in and day out on top of exercising leadership in tough market conditions can take its toll. But the work of the sector demands practitioners who are on their game.
We should look after ourselves and each other.