Compassion fatigue is the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can come from caregiving. It can reduce our effectiveness caring for our loved ones and ourselves.
This is a good article on how family caregivers can combat compassion fatigue:
7 Ways Family Caregivers Can Combat Compassion Fatigue
Guidelines from an expert who’s also had personal experience
By Stephen Chee
August 18, 2020
The author says:
The most effective mantra to surmount compassion fatigue? Don’t be your own worst enemy. Instead, be your own best friend. Speak kindly to yourself and give yourself grace. When we befriend ourselves, we can love and serve others more abundantly.
The seven guidelines described include:
- Take Care to Give Care. Many family caregivers have trouble asking for help. … Yet if we fail to care for ourselves first, we will be ineffective in caring for others. Remember these three principles: We must receive before we can give; we must learn not to put ourselves last and we must be kind to ourselves by taking time to rest, recharge and recover.
- Plan Each Day. In caregiving, it’s a four-step process:
* Choose your planning medium.
* Schedule a one-hour weekly planning session.
* Block off time for each daily activity beyond caregiving, such as maintaining your work schedule, shopping, exercising, sleeping, having quiet time, nurturing your spiritual practices, keeping doctors’ appointments and spending time with family and friends.
* Be flexible and realistic, leaving room in your life for unexpected events.
- Cultivate Emotional Intelligence. [This includes] self-awareness, positive outlook, self-control, adaptability and empathy. Empathy is needed not only in caring for others, but in loving and forgiving ourselves.
- Follow the Caregiver’s Bill of Rights
- Build Your Support Network
- Seek Physical, Mental and Emotional Recovery
- Celebrate and Have Fun
Check out the full article for more details.