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Compassion Fatigue - Are you at risk?

  • February 23, 2017 11:54 AM EST

    Compassion Fatigue - Do you have it?

    If you find yourself emotionally and physically exhausted, easily irritated and blaming others for problems on a daily basis - you could be suffering from compassion fatigue.

    There are many resources available to help one to recognize, prevent and treat compassion fatigue. I would like to focus on the coaching approach to dealing with this chronic and debilitating condition. Coaching is unique in that we begin with examining your personal operating beliefs. Your beliefs drive your actions on a daily basis. Reflection and examining your beliefs is the key to changing your actions. If you believe that putting the needs of others first is important, then your actions will reflect that belief. If you believe that you are totally responsible for healing an injured animal, then you will take on all of the pain and disappointment if that animal fails to thrive. If you believe that you must be perfect with every task at work, then you will consider any misstep a personal failure.

    A strong identification with weak, suffering, helpless animals or people contributes to higher levels of compassion fatigue. Caring too much and taking on all of the emotional blame for any outcome is part of a belief that you need to care more than any one else in order to help others.

    So, the reason that many people are attracted to a caring, helping profession is also the reason they are at higher risk for compassion fatigue. 

    Check yourself against these common symptoms: 

    • Emotional exhaustion
    • Reduced sense of personal accomplishment or meaning in work
    • Poor habits of self-care
    • Excessive blaming
    • Isolation from others
    • Physical exhaustion and chronic fatigue
    • Compulsive behaviors such as overeating, overspending or binge TV watching
    • Substance abuse to mask feelings
    • Pent up emotions
    • Difficulty concentrating or making basic decisions 

    How does Spiral Coaching help with compassion fatigue?

    Coaching is based on self-learning, self-compassion and reflection to make adjustments in your normal patterns that support a healthier, happier you. Resilient people practice self-care, exercise regularly, eat healthy and have strong support systems. Do You? Self-compassion is a required practice to prevent compassion fatigue.

    What is your stress level right now? What signs of compassion fatigue are present?

    What are you willing to do to improve your life right now? How do you practice self-compassion and self-care?

    These are basic coaching questions that start the process of moving in a direction of creating positive changes for you.

    If you don’t like where you are, you must be willing to take action before your life will change.

    Take a step forward today. Contact Coach Gwen