WHAT IS IT?
Compassion Fatigue is the emotional state of the helping person/ care worker that becomes affected.
On a day to day basis and over time, it can become a struggle to function in a care giving environment which constantly presents challenges of all kinds …emotional, physical & personal.
We use empathy and open our hearts and feelings to others, and can be affected by what they are experiencing.
Over time , it can reach a point where the emotional fatigue affects our ability to be compassionate in all areas of our lives both personal and professional.
- Excessive blaming
- Bottled up emotions
- • Isolation from others
- • Receives an unusual amount of complaints from others
- • Voices excessive complaints about administrative functions
- • Substance abuse used to mask feelings
- • Compulsive behaviors such as overspending, overeating, gambling, sexual addictions
- • Poor self-care (i.e., hygiene, appearance)
- • Legal problems, indebtedness
- • Reoccurrence of nightmares and flashbacks to a traumatic event
- • Chronic physical ailments such as gastrointestinal problems and recurrent colds
- • Apathy, sad, no longer finding activities pleasurable
- • Difficulty concentrating
- • Mentally and physically tired
- • Preoccupied
- • In denial about problems
They could be indicative of compassion fatigue. Similar to a burn out.
Become more aware of how you are feeling or reacting to everyday tasks. Are they becoming a struggle?
Be kind to yourself and quietly take note.
AFFECTS WITHIN THE WORKPLACE.
• High absenteeism
• Constant changes in co-workers relationships
• Inability for teams to work well together
• Desire among staff members to break company rules
• Outbreaks of aggressive behaviors among staff
• Inability of staff to complete assignments and tasks
• Inability of staff to respect and meet deadlines
• Lack of flexibility among staff members
• Negativism towards management
• Strong reluctance toward change
• Inability of staff to believe improvement is possible
• Lack of a vision for the future.
It does happen, and if you feel any of the above is far too familiar with how you may be feeling, there is a way through. It may not be a quick fix but it is a start…and take your time.
Here is a bit of encouragement towards those first steps.
We all have our own way of working through the tough times. Just allow yourself time to do it.
• Be kind to yourself.
• Enhance your awareness with education.
• Accept where you are on your path at all times.
• Understand that those close to you may not be there when you need them most.
• Exchange information and feelings with people who can validate you.
• Listen to others who are suffering.
• Clarify your personal boundaries. What works for you; what doesn’t.
• Express your needs verbally.
• Take positive action to change your environment.
Things will begin to ease, be kind to yourself.