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  • Brian Tregunna

Are you running out of sympathy?

If you are experiencing chronic emotional and physical exhaustion, feeling irritable and having difficulty sleeping, or maybe you have feelings of unfairness or resentment towards someone you are caring for, you may be suffering from Compassion Fatigue. 

Other symptoms include: reduced feelings of sympathy or empathy, dreading work or contact with a specific person, headaches, hyper-sensitivity, weight loss/gain and feelings of self-contempt. Sufferers often sigh and say things like, ‘I could write a book’, ‘Will this day never end?’ and ‘Just when I think I’ve heard it all?’

Compassion Fatigue is commonly associated with people who work in helping or healing professions, such as nurses, doctors, therapists and emergency service personnel. However, it is now increasingly recognised that people who are caring for family members are also susceptible to Compassion Fatigue.

If you recognise this in yourself, here are a few top tips to help you manage and prevent the condition:

  • Be self-aware and honest with yourself. 

  • Take self-responsibility rather than accepting the role of a victim 

  • Reduce stressful workloads – change your circumstances, be that at work or at home.

  • Regularly take part in activities that you know improve your mental health and wellbeing, eg physical exercise, music, meditation, baking etc 

  • Maintain a healthy diet.

  • Set emotional boundaries – refuse to step into someone else’s world if you know it harms you.

  • Talk about it with someone you trust – a close friend or family member.

  • Seek help from a professional Life Coach, Therapist or Mental Health Professional.

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