The majority of us are patient, giving, and compassionate people who are eager to help when need be. However, quite unintentionally, that generosity can sometimes take a terrible toll upon us. While compassion fatigue is a threat faced by those in industries that care for people or animals, it can also be a real danger for anyone who acts as a caregiver.
Here are some steps you can take to avoid compassion fatigue:
As a caregiver, it is all too easy to stop doing things for yourself because you think that you just don’t have time. However, you have to make that time to preserve your own physical and mental health, thus allowing you to continue providing proper care.
It can be difficult to be compassionate and caring without getting emotionally involved in someone else’s problems. However, that boundary is very much necessary to preserve your own well-being.
Positive Coping Strategies
When you are down or distressed, it can be very easy to turn to drugs or alcohol to remedy the situation. However, this band-aid approach is not a solution and the issue will continue to fester and grow. Learn healthy ways to alleviate your stress, such as meditation, deep breathing, a hot bath, etc. Seeing a therapist can also help you to learn more about coping strategies and what you should and should not do.
Maintain Outside Friendships and Interests
It is very important to have healthy distractions in your life. These should be things that do not involve any aspects of caregiving and should not even remind you of it. Develop and cultivate hobbies that you do on a regular basis. Also, seek out friendships that will provide diversion and fun that can help take your mind off of the tougher aspects of life right now.