Nearly 8 years ago, I was working full time as a social worker in the community, running a private counseling practice on a part time basis, promoting my first book, exercising 5-6 times per week and newly married!! Yup...I was doing THE MOST!
With my plate so full, there was no room for anything to be off balance and as soon as the crisis happened, I found myself in auto-pilot. This cycle of grinding, helping with loose boundaries and not making time for myself got old quickly. In fact, it led to Compassion Fatigue AND Burnout.
Compassion Fatigue is the emotional strain of empathizing with those suffering from traumatic events. Burnout is the loss of meaning and fulfillment in our work due to exhaustion from prolonged, unresolved stress. And yes, helping professionals and caregivers can experience both!! The reactive part of me was ready to quit everything. The reflective part of me took a pause and realized I still loved this work and there were ways I could continue to do the work I love. This is when I learned the importance of creating a stronger foundation of self-awareness, self-compassion and self-soothing strategies to cope. This required me to slow down throughout the day, check in with myself, become more attuned with what my body was communicating to me, ground myself as needed and most importantly give myself some grace. As caregivers, healers, healthcare professionals and community leaders, we are often called upon to offer hope and healing to those struggling with navigating life's complexities. For these reasons, I created a resource to "help the helpers." Overcoming Compassion Fatigue: When Helping Hurts is an E-book for novice to intermediate level caregivers, helping, and healthcare professionals. The 30 page guide offers information, strategies, and tips for navigating Compassion Fatigue. Remember, Helping doesn't have to Hurt and Empathy doesn't have to be Exhausting.
To Your Health and Prosperity,