In sex work there is always emphasis on sexual health, yet our emotional and mental well-being is just as important. Healthy thinking and genuinely feeling good about ourselves increases the likelihood of finding good relationships, caring workplaces and safer practices with clients.
Give attention to your well-being and take action on any changes that are needed. Some things to monitor may be:
If services to clients are causing physical or mental stress, do things differently. For ideas on setting boundaries with clients, have discussions with experienced sex workers or SWOP staff members. It can really help to share information and tips with others who have dealt with the challenging aspects of work.
The stigma and hidden life that often accompanies sex work can be tough. It can help to maintain friendships outside the sex industry and have at least one friend with whom you can be totally honest. Find ways to express your inner thoughts and feelings—keeping a journal and/or regular counselling sessions can provide a safe space for this.
SWOP offers free and confidential counselling in person or by phone. We can also assist in finding counselling services in your local area. Phone the SWOP office to make an appointment with the counsellor: (02) 9206 2166.
Do you feel as though you simply can’t face another client? Does the idea of getting up and going to work make you scramble under the doona and hide? If so, you could be suffering from BURNOUT!
Signs you might be suffering from burnout include:
To prevent burnout, you need to ensure that you lead a balanced life. Too much work and poor boundaries can take a toll. It is possible to develop a happy medium where work is satisfying and fulfilling, but not so stressful that it takes over your entire life.
Here are some ideas:
If you ignore the warning signs of burnout, you may become very stressed, depressed or physically unwell. Unresolved feelings of frustration or anger may lead you to lose your objectivity about work and end up feeling like you simply can’t work anymore. Before giving up, step back and take a look. Are you burnt-out? If the symptoms of burnout persist, you maybe suffering from anxiety and depression. It is strongly recommended you visit your doctor to discuss any concerns.