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.
How often do people take time to understand how their jobs are affecting them emotionally?
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.