A home visitor’s job can be very stressful. There are some providers who do not welcome your visit and other visits you dread to do. Dealing with the various personalities of your clients, managers, and colleagues can be frustrating. How can you get through your day and keep yourself motivated?
You have probably heard the saying, “laughter is the best medicine”. There are many scientific and medical reasons why laughter is good for you.
Here is what laughter can do for you:
• Helps relieve stress
• Helps lower your heartbeat and blood pressure
• Allows you to take in more oxygen to your body and brain
• Decrease amount of stress hormones and boosts the immune system
• Boosts antibodies to help fight disease Defuse conflicts or disagreements
• Relax you so you can see difficult situations in a different way
Admittedly your job is serious, and you do need to take the issues and problems that the clients and families you service have seriously. We are not suggesting that you laugh at a client when they are upset or angry, but there are things you can do to connect in a positive way with your client.
You can greet your clients with a smile on your face and a sincere “good morning”. Your smile and upbeat greeting can set the visit on a more positive tone.
Be spontaneous, laugh at yourself. Example: “I was getting stressed because I couldn’t find my home visit sheet, and it was right in my hand all the time.
Identifying and acknowledging the humor in a simple situation will relieve any stress that the client may feel about your visit.
Not every situation is an occasion to laugh. However, privately, you can choose to laugh at yourself and identify when you may have taken a situation too seriously. There are moments in each day that you can look back on that can bring a smile on your face. As you are driving along, noticing a big muscular man in army fatigues walking a tiny little dog with little legs, or a funny story on the radio can bring a smile on your face. Even sitting in traffic can give you opportunities to smile and lessen your frustration, the lady in the next car with the funny hair do, the man who has his windows up and is obviously singing at the top of his lungs, can all give you some comic relief and put you in a better mood.
Your job gives you the unique opportunity to view and talk to children. This can always bring a smile on your face. Keep a notebook of some of the humorous things you have seen and heard children do.
Look at your notebook from time to time
"A sense of humor is part of the art of leader- ship, of getting along with people, of getting things done."
Dwight Eisenhower