The past two years have caused major disruptions to the American labor force. Often referred to as The Great Resignation. Unfortunately, the healthcare and social assistance sectors have had the biggest exodus. Creating even more stress on the already overworked front line workers. Leaving them vulnerable to burnout or compassion fatigue. Without knowing the symptoms, people will ignore or rationalize their symptoms instead of taking the steps to care for themselves.
The sooner you notice the signs of compassion fatigue, the sooner you can care for yourself and replenish your store of empathy. Be on the lookout for:
· Feeling exhausted physically and psychologically
· Feeling helpless, hopeless, or powerless
· Feeling irritable, angry, sad, or numb
· A sense of being detached or having decreased pleasure in activities
· Ruminating about the suffering of others and feeling anger towards the events of people causing the suffering
· Blaming yourself and having thoughts of not having done enough to help the people who are suffering.
· A decreased sense of personal and professional accomplishment
· Physical symptoms, including sleep and appetite disturbances, nausea, and dizziness
It’s important to take steps to reduce compassion fatigue. Untreated, the symptoms of compassion fatigue can lead to mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and substance use disorders. Here’s how you can prevent and treat compassion fatigue:
· Relaxation – Variation of breathwork, body scanning, guided visualization, muscle relaxation, and self-compassion mantras
· Basic needs – Sleep, movement, and food
· Value-based self-care – Self-care based on your values
· Healthy boundaries – Emotional and time
· Self-Compassion – Giving yourself grace, kindness, warmth and understanding when faced with challenges, shortcomings, and inadequacies.
Helping others without replenishing yourself can be overwhelming and can lead to compassion fatigue. The Fullest Well is a great resource for individuals and offices to combat compassion fatigue and increase staff retention. Click here to view The Fullest Well.
To Your Health and Prosperity,