Do you find yourselves avoiding certain conversations and people? Because their work puts them in situations where they commonly see or hear about ongoing and sometimes unspeakable suffering, it is not unusual to see some of our most skilled, caring, and compassionate “helpers” fall victim to compassion fatigue.
Corona times have forced us not only to look at our physical well being but also emotional well being and Compassion is no exception. Compassion fatigue is considered to be the result of working directly with victims of disasters, trauma, or illness, especially in the health care industry. Individuals working in other helping professions are also at risk for experiencing compassion fatigue but I personally feel that thanks to the stressful times that we live in , no one is an exception.
Signs of compassion fatigue include:
- Feeling burdened by the suffering of others
- Blaming others for their suffering
- Isolating yourself
- Loss of pleasure in life
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Physical and mental fatigue
- Bottling up your emotions
- Increased nightmares
- Feelings of hopelessness or powerlessness
- Frequent complaining about your work or your life
- Excessive use of drugs or alcohol
- Poor self-care
- Beginning to receive a lot of complaints about your work or attitude
So now without rambling on theory, let me jot down what I think might help anyone deal with compassion fatigue.
- Watch something light-hearted like cartoons or a romance comedy. Stay away from tear jerkers.
- Eat sumptuous food if gaining weight is not a concern 😛
- Try to comes to terms with the fact that pain and suffering are realities of life over which we have little or no control.
- Be grateful for what is good in your life and in the world.
- Try to find some meaning in the suffering you see.
- If you must blame something, blame the situation, not the person.
- Show compassion to yourself by being kind, soothing, and comforting to yourself.
- Enhance your awareness with education.
- Accept where you are on your path at all times.
- Exchange information and feelings with people who can validate you.
- Clarify your personal boundaries—what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Express what you need verbally.
- Tell others what you need in order to feel good .
- Take positive action to change your environment.
Compassion fatigue or not, I hope this helps 🙂