Compassion Fatigue is a thing

I am tired. Are you tired? There is so much going on. Big global concerns: climate change and Covid 19. On our continent which we share with the USA and Mexico – we have Black Lives Matters and the state of the US politics. Then, In Canada, we have our own things: Indigenous affairs, our economic crisis, our own political messes, then my own stuff: unemployment, a mum who was diagnosed with cancer just as covid hit, almost a year to the date my dad died. I have adult children struggling to find their way. I wondering about my own financial future. My health. What do we have for dinner? Do I want to become vegan? I want to care. I am just so worn out. Are you? Can you relate?

This is called Compassion Fatigue. It hits us care givers hard. Our empathetic souls hit a wall and we are bruised. And this is a foreign feeling. We are not used to it. It makes us want to tune out and shut down and walk away. All not normally our mode of being. Once I learned to identify what was happening I could choose to address it.

In my experience there were 4 things to look at:

  • Sleep – we need actual sleep to literally rest. Go to bed earlier. Leave the phone on your desk. Have a bath. Listen to some calming music or a spoken meditation on Insight or Calm or something similar
  • Hydration- drink more water.
  • Exercise – go for a walk, get outside in the fresh air
  • Write it down: use a mind map or brain dump. Take a blank piece of paper and write down everything you are caring about, or what you think you should care about, or what worries you. Then put the paper away for a couple of days.

Go back to the paper and see what are the things you have no control over and what things you can affect change on. Then you can stop worrying about the things you cannot control and come up with some next steps for the things you want to change, or the things you can contribute to.

I was very glad to be able to identify what was happening to me and then address it. I did not like how it made me feel about myself or how it made me feel about others.

Hopefully this was helpful to you. If it was, let me know if you can relate and what you are going to do to get some rest.