I listened in on the Compassion Fatigue and Fostering Resilience webinar. The webinar was very informitve and helpful! This disorder manifests itself in a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion. Two forms of compassion fatigue are Vicarious Trauma and Burnout. Individuals at the highest risk level of contracting the disorder are people who have already have anxieties to begin with, lack of support outside of work or at work, strong feelings of empathy, personal trauma history, suppresses emotions, distances from people when stressed, excessive life demands. In order to avoid reaching this intense level of fatigue you should start by staying focused on why you do what you do. Your reasons should be separate from YOU. For example, you should not be an advocate because you think you are the “most compassionate person out there” you should be an advocate because you love helping people get on the right track. When you start to feel super stressed, go somewhere where you can be alone. Take deep breathes and relax. Realize that as long as you are doing your best, that is good enough. It is very important to make sure you have a good support system at work and outside of work! Make sure you take care of yourself through prayer, nutrion, exercise, and so on. The instructor suggested that it is always good to have a “plan B” career wise. Don’t commit to so much that you are overwhelmed. Don’t let yourself think you are responsible for fixing everyone else’s problems, we are just to plant seeds and help people along their path in life. Don’t beat yourself up when you make mistakes! Think positively by looking at the best in people and thinking about the good things in the world more than the bad. Let go of things you cannot change and be willing to take the necessary steps to change the things that you can. You can check out www.PROQOL.org to take a test as to whether or not you have Compassion Fatigue.
Written by Sammy, O’Neill Criminal Justice Liaison