U4CW - Compassion Fatigue

Compassion Fatigue

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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.