Burnout and compassion fatigue (as I said in the homepage) are common conditions in professional caregivers, yet can be very debilitating.
A chronic depletion of energy from prolonged stress decreases your work performance, the quality of your relationships, and job satisfaction. It causes ill health, anxiety and depression.
Sometimes you may not even know that you are experiencing burnout in its earlier stages. It can seep into your life gradually.
Replenishing both physical and mental energy and using your energy wisely are essential strategies for managing burnout and compassion fatigue. Self-care is recommended to achieve this.
The ‘Big Five’ strategies of self-care are sleep, nutrition, exercise, relaxation and socialising.
We all know this. Yet we are not doing them frequently enough, nor well enough.
Why is this?
The system comprises numerous components that affect each of us in different ways. The components include the wider culture, economic and political systems, workplace, and our reference group of friends, family and peers.
The system is also inside of us.
Psychological factors such as values and priorities, beliefs, thinking styles, and cognitive biases also impact our tendency to eschew self-care.
So this system enables our work as compassionate professionals, but at our expense. It will wear us out, if we allow it.
The point here is that it is not your fault that self-care is so challenging. The system has largely excluded it.
To be a part of the professional caregiving system, then, is to be exposed to the risk of developing burnout and compassion fatigue.
Yet you are responsible for implementing wise, sustainable solutions in this environment.
And I have answers that can greatly help you.
In addition to the ‘Big Five’ self-care strategies are others that encourage you to understand how these systemic barriers affect you personally.
To know and understand enables you to approach self-care more effectively.
You will notice that I have programs for making this transformation at work.
I also have a free membership space called The Compassionate Professional Collective that gives you access to a range of resources for living and working well – articles, research, book and product reviews, professional development opportunities, and other treasures. Please join!
Your life is precious and your work is sacred.
I want you to have this opportunity to do it well and sustainably. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself for your mission.
This is my life’s work. There is something amazing about journeying with someone who transcends their old ways and moves into a much more powerful and healthy way of thinking, living and working.
Their world opens up, and new possibilities create a new and better future.
I want this for everyone, especially for you who are professional caregivers. Your work makes our world a kinder, more peaceful place.
I want you to be powerful, resilient, and sustainably energised by your work.
This means having the resources and willingness to develop your professional presence. Everything good starts from that space, and your moral obligation is to preserve and enhance your presence continuously.
While anxiety, burnout and compassion fatigue are familiar hazards in this work, you can protect yourself and accelerate your power to make a positive difference.