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You can still be a good friend and make time for yourself. Taking personal time is not a selfish trait.
“Sometimes you don't realize you are actually drowning when you are trying to be everyone else’s anchor.” -Anonymous
Compassion Fatigue and Resilience
As we care for others and extend ourselves to our students and families, we can experience compassion fatigue. This fatigue comes both from our own experiences and from our empathetic responses to others’ experiences.
The Compassion Resilience Toolkit for Schools uses Dr. Scott and Holly Stoner’s (of Samaritan Family Wellness Center of Wisconsin) Compass Model of Wellness.
The Compass Model outlines 4 areas of wellness where you can feel fatigue, or you can feel resilience.
Relationships – connections to others
Emotions – express and receive emotions in a healthy way
School/work – get the most out or your work experience
Organization – manage your time and priorities
Core Values – your sense of meaning and purpose
Rest and Play – the balance between work, rest, and play
Stress resilience – dealing positively with life’s challenges
Care for your body – physical well-being
Examine each of these areas of your life. What is out of balance? Where do you feel fatigue and where do you feel strength? When you feel fatigue, what can you do to care for yourself and restore balance?
- Know what is yours to do. Separate what you wish you could do from what you know you can do. Focus on the task at hand and be fully present. You can do your work to the best of your ability, with love and compassion for both yourself and others.
- Let go of the result. When we loosen the grip on our ideas about the way things should be, we are much more open to new ideas and new ways of looking at things. Acknowledge the brain's desire for control, and you create more space to find creative solutions.
- Be authentic. Let go of who we think we're supposed to be and embrace who we are. Show up, be real, be honest and be seen.
If we support our overall wellness, our ability to maintain a compassionate approach grows.
Action step: Sometimes the best solution to feeling fatigued is to spend time with others. During the pandemic this can be a challenge. Set aside some time and call a friend.
In searching for information on how to best help those that are overwhelmed, most of the articles are overwhelming to read – and really overwhelming to do all the activities suggested.
Here are some quick ideas to help feelings of being overwhelmed.
What is most important to do?
What is most important to do NOW?
How can you make the task as basic and streamlined as possible?
What is the most effortless method?
Can you use a template or model (so you do not need to recreate every task)?
Can you use the same practice/structure for multiple tasks?
Know your feelings are valid! (These are unprecedented times.)
How do you care for yourself?
Are you sleeping, eating, hydrating, and going to the bathroom regularly?
Do you have some stress relieving strategies? Breathing? Moving? Distracting? Breaks?
Are you being kind to yourself and giving yourself some grace?
How to stop feeling overwhelmed right now | Mel Robbins - Bing video
Action Step: Take a short digital detox. set aside time to disconnect from constant email alerts, news notification and interruptions.
In order to manage stress, we need to know what our triggers are, practice self-care, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Five things about staying mentally healthy
Don’t let stress take over your thoughts.
Remember it is okay to take a short break when needed… recharge, refocus, and reduce your stress.
Ten Ways to Managing Stress:
- Know your triggers and how they affect you. What makes you stressed?
- Take care of your physical self – get enough sleep, stay hydrated, eat well.
- Build reliable supportive relationships. Stay connected with your supports.
- Do some deep breathing to calm your physiological and emotional responses.
- Intentionally practice routine self-care skills.
- Organize your time and build routine into your day – with flexibility.
- Take short breaks when needed to recharge, refocus, and reduce stress.
- Develop and practice positive coping skills to utilize during times of stress.
- Set boundaries and limits – know when to kindly say no.
- Ask for help – to solve a problem or to get support.