It happens to people in caring professions because they are exposed to the sharp end of life every day at work. They walk in the shoes of person who is suffering in order to understand what that person’s needs are. As a result they endure what’s known as vicarious trauma.
It happens to healthcare professionals, teachers, school principals and others. It can happen to family carers too. It’s very upsetting for them because they are naturally compassionate people. Any difficulty they have with empathising feels like they are not themselves. They start to doubt their ‘goodness’ – probably something they thrived on before.
If you are in this position, there are several ways to generate healing from compassion fatigue:
Fill the gaps in your resilience. To identify gaps in resilience see the assessment tool that’s available in the free version of The Resilience Hub.
Overhaul how you manage your energy. Just like a bank account, when there are more withdrawals than deposits it runs into trouble.
Embed habits and mindset so you can leave work at work. There are simple and practical ways to create this shift. Write a list of what you have accomplished that day. Pick a point on the way home where you mentally ‘clock out’ of the work day. Repeat the affirmation that you have done enough.
Sometimes it’s good to consider a new career direction. Whether you go for it or just explore, it generates hope on the horizon – which is like being set free from the mental prison of burnout.
Please share with anyone you think may benefit from these tips or indeed from the training and techniques in The Resilience Hub. It’s a series of 150 categorised and bite-sized tips for recovering and building personal resilience.
Until next week, take care,
Image credit: Matthew Henry via Unsplash.com