Compassion Fatigue vs Burnout
We have all felt the exhaustion from being invested in our careers. We’ve complained about the workload and wished we had more paid time off. Those feelings can be described as burnout. They’re felt by the majority of people in the workforce and they come and go depending on the workload and deadlines that you’re facing.
A look into compassion
What really is compassion? It's much more than having a heart for people. Compassion is more than pitying someone else's situation. It's feeling the need to lend a hand to improve what they’re experiencing. You see their suffering and your innate response is to be concerned for their misfortune. Emotional researchers at Berkley define compassion as a feeling that arises when you’re confronted with another's suffering and feeling motivated to relieve it. While compassion is a good quality to have, it can also be a dangerous thing for your mental health.
Symptoms of Compassion Fatigue
Compassion fatigue is a deep set feeling that is experienced by people who work taking care of others. While it can be experienced largely by people in the medical field like nurses and EMS workers, it is not limited to those career paths. Police officers, social workers, and hospice care workers should also be mindful of compassion fatigue.
How do you know if you’re experiencing compassion fatigue? Symptoms can appear that are emotional, mental, or physical. Emotional symptoms are commonly felt as anxiety and irritability. Mental symptoms of compassion fatigue are depression, negative self-talk, difficulty separating work and home life. There are physical symptoms associated with compassion fatigue as well. Physical symptoms that may arise are becoming more accident prone, experiencing sleep disruptions, getting headaches, and having a lowered immune response, and lashing out at others. A big indicator of needed self care is if you are becoming overly irritable or impatient during small occurrences that otherwise wouldn’t normally bother you.
Avoiding Compassion Fatigue
If you believe that you may be suffering from compassion fatigue, or you know someone else who is, remind them of the importance of self care. Consistently refilling your cup is the key to overcoming compassion fatigue. Some people choose to change career fields when they’re regularly experiencing compassion fatigue. Do not feel guilty if that is the answer for you. If your career becomes an emotional burden that controls you physically, emotionally, and mentally, then you need to make a change. Change can be a good thing.
Healing is completely individual. If you are looking for a safe space to talk through what you are experiencing, then reach out to Aspen Ketamine Center. We are here to improve your mental health and wellness. For more tips on living your best life, find us out on Facebook and Instagram!