Understanding of Compassion Fatigue and ways in which to manage it are very relevant in our current environment. I appreciate that many of you got into your businesses in order to make a difference and where possibly motivated by doing something you felt passionate about.
What you maybe didn’t expect is by providing the support that you felt was valuable, whether to customers/clients or to your team, was that this very concern could result in the experience of Compassion Fatigue.
Unlike burnout, which is more likely to gradually build up in a person, Compassion Fatigue can be experienced suddenly, often stemming from feelings of disempowerment or the inability to ‘fix things’ or solve other’s problems.
Ways you may see this manifest include:
- Difficulty focussing or concentrating
- Experiencing a sense of powerlessness
- Feeling burdened by the worry of others
- A heaviness connected to responsibility
- Endeavoring to suppress your thoughts and feeling
- Interrupted sleep and feelings of fatigue
- Loss of joy or a sense of humour
So what can be done to bring back balance and militate against this in order to be there for those you care about?
- Take care of YOU by putting strategies in place so you stay on top of your Empowerment Pyramid
- Find a positive, trusted sounding board so you can express your concerns rather than suppress them
- Be proactive in your approach and give yourself space to rebalance between discussions and interactions with others
- Engage in tailored practices that work for you to release the build-up of stress
- Be selective in what you watch, listen and buy into