Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Compassion Fatigue

My mom shares her Oprah Magazine with me and as I was flipping through it, an article caught my eye on compassion fatigue. While the article focuses on the example of caring for an elderly or ailing parent, it is also true that compassion fatigue is a risk for CRCC Advocates. If you're interested, go ahead and check out the entire piece but what I thought was especially relevant was this sidebar by the author, Tim Jarvis:

Five Ways to Help Yourself

When you're caring for someone, practicing self-awareness and self-care can help you maintain your boundaries; this, in turn, allows you to be fully compassionate without being consumed by the other person's pain.

Mindfulness meditation - it's been shown to decrease depression and anxiety while boosting empathy.
Keeping a journal. Research suggests that reflective writing helps prevent compassion fatigue.
A daily act of self-centering: Set an alarm for noon and take four deep breaths; or when you wash your hands, sink into the experience, feeling the sensation of the water on your skin while noting, "I am worthy of my own time."
Staying connected to the outside world with at least a phone call every day. Better yet, get outside, even just to take a walk.
And don't be afraid to ask for help.

Please remember if you're experiencing any type of compassion fatigue or emotional exhaustion, my door is always open and I'm always available. Let's talk about what you're experiencing so that we can both ensure your mental health and the quality of care given to survivors.

Hollywood Reporters Annual Women In Entertainment Breakfast - Los Angeles, CA

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