Compassion fatigue is a very deep, complicated subject. My goal is to break it down into small parts.
First of all, the name itself has a depressive connotation to it. As we look at it, I prefer to call it compassion self-care. It can affect all areas of our lives. Compassion self-care involves looking at how we “talk” to ourselves.
I had a very long day at work. It was very emotionally draining. I return home and I feel very tired and worn out.
In my mind, I become angry for feeling this way and mentally “beat myself up.” I think, “I should be able to handle all this.”
Ways to Address
If someone you loved was going through a difficult time at work, would you talk to them the way that you are talking to yourself? Would you try and be comforting and supportive?
Talk to yourself like you would talk to a loved one. It may feel strange and uncomfortable but try it anyway.
- Journaling: Write down on paper thoughts you are “telling yourself.”
- Self-care: Caring for yourself as you care for others.
Michael Hawkins, MA, LPC is a licensed professional counselor at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). With almost 25 years of experience as a counselor, he works with clinicians, students, staff, and clients—compassionately attending to the human needs that arise in the practice of veterinary medicine. Counselor’s Corner is a blog devoted to that purpose. BACK TO BLOG