We are celebrating Caregivers the whole month of November! This week we are talking about compassion fatigue. Let’s dive right in.

DIVING IN: What is compassion fatigue? You are a caregiver, and the work you do is very important and very rewarding – but it can also take a toll on you when you are supporting someone who is suffering. The big picture? Compassion fatigue is a set of symptoms and not just one thing that caregivers experience when they provide care to people who are experiencing significant emotional or physical pain and suffering.

DRILLING DOWN: How does compassion fatigue affect caregivers? Sometimes compassion fatigue gets talked about like burnout – but, these are two different things. Last week, we talked about stress and burnout. Check out this video that helps explain the difference between compassion fatigue and burnout:

Mental Wellness Moment — Preventing compassion fatigue and burnout, Alberta Health Services (Apr 23, 2020)

Compassion fatigue can affect each person differently. You can find more resources adapted from “The Compassion Fatigue Workbook” and a compassion fatigue self-assessment on this website recommended by posAbilities.

DIGGING DEEP: What to do about it! Managing symptoms of compassion fatigue includes seeking support and engaging in authentic, sustainable self-care. This website is dedicated to “self-compassion,” and this website has a list of 9 principles and a page of 9 ideas that can help. Share which ones you think are best in the comments!

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