Caregivers

Compassion Fatigue

Being a caregiver is hard work. Caregiving is not just “taking care” of another person, whether it be a spouse, parent or child, but it’s also about listening and seeing the stories of those we help.

The Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project, www.compassionfatigue.org, states that compassion fatigue is experiencing constant stress due to being in caregiving roles and exposure to trauma based needs. How do I know if I’m experiencing compassion fatigue? Here are some of the symptoms to look for:

 • Physical manifestations of pain

 • Insomnia

 • High blood pressure

 • Anxiety

 • Headaches/migraines

 • Irritability

 • Under or over-eating (each person is different)

 • Indigestion

 • Frustration with work or loved ones

 • Apathy 

• Difficulty concentrating

 • Depression 

• And much more

 How do I know if I’m experiencing the stress from these symptoms? Ask yourself:

 • Do I seem to be more stressed coming or going from work?

 • Do I think about the things encountered at work when at home?

 • Do I find reasons to not come in to work? 

• Do I avoid certain assignments more than others because they are bothersome?

 • Do I find myself emotionally invested more than I should be?

 • Do I find that when leaving work I have headaches or stomach aches?

 Resilience is the key to helping us cope with compassion fatigue. What can I do?

 • Acknowledge your struggles

 • Express your feelings

 • Find support systems/people 

• Identify self-care techniques

 • Have positive hobbies/activities separate from work 

What can I do to take care of myself?

 • Spending time with loved ones/friends – not in a caregiving role 

• Reading a book

 • Enjoying a nice dinner

 • Exercising

 • Time with your furry friends

 • Long walk

 • Vacation

 • Whatever helps you unwind!! 

It is important for us to take care of ourselves so that we can take care of others. It has been said that “you are no good to others if you are not in a good place”. When we are in a good place we are most effective and we are most authentic in helping others. The Compassion Fatigue website gives a lot of good information, resources and suggested readings to assist us in recognizing and helping us with compassion fatigue. For more information, go to: www.compassionfatigue.org.Permission to use information given by Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project.

 

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This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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