Compassion fatigue is described as the psychological toll experienced by nurses, doctors, social workers, and other professional caregivers. Throughout this past year with families physical distancing and adjusting to a new normal, compassion fatigue is not immune to those outside of these professions. Many are worried about the health and safety of loved ones, as well as the worry of the needs for local businesses and restaurants.
It’s understandable that you do not have the energy like you normally do. It’s okay! You may be experiencing compassion fatigue. This year has been a year filled with more news and information on hardship and sadness. Compassion fatigue is also described as empathy fatigue. Some signs of this include feeling physically, emotionally, and psychologically exhausted.
Compassion fatigue can be prevented by consistently check in with yourself. Pay attention to when taking care of others feels taxing versus replenishing. You can check in with yourself by asking the following questions:
– What do I need right now?
– What can I give myself?
– How am I feeling?
– What is bothering me?
– What can I do about it?
It can be difficult to want to give back to others when you feel like you are suffering to keep up yourself. You can overcome these feelings by practicing self-care and taking some time to decrease your requirements. Try making small changes daily to help. So, what can you do when you have no energy to give back to others?
– Fill up your cup and practice self-care daily
– Take care of your basic needs
– Find small ways to show up
– Practice self-compassion
– Ask for help
– Be flexible
– Increase boundaries
This year has been hard on many. We are all experiencing many adjustments. If you do find yourself feeling burnt out and having a lack of energy, try asking yourself these questions and taking some time to fit in self-care as well as finding support.
Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation
Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.