You’ve probably never heard of “compassion fatigue,” but I’ll bet you’ve felt it.  Compassion fatigue is also known as secondary stress, or simply burnout in Broomfield, Colorado.

It’s very common among people who work in health care or related fields, and it’s a by product of living a life that’s devoted to caring for others.  There are several symptoms of compassion fatigue that I’m going to discuss with you.  Some of these symptoms are physical, and some are emotional.

First, let’s take a look at some of the physical symptoms; see if any of these apply to you in Broomfield, Colorado.

First, compassion fatigue often results in insomnia, or being unable to sleep.  People with compassion fatigue who do find a way to sleep often have nightmares.  Sometimes compassion fatigue results in self isolation, wanting to be away from people.  Overeating can be a symptom of compassion fatigue, as well as the excessive use of drugs or alcohol as a coping strategy

Mental or physical fatigue is common, as is significant weight loss.  Sometimes people with compassion fatigue experience headaches in Broomfield, Colorado.

Emotional symptoms of compassion fatigue include blaming others for their pain, as if it’s their fault they’re in pain, or sometimes feeling burdened by the suffering of others. feeling it’s like it’s your load that you’re carrying. Sometimes there’s a difficulty with concentrating or a loss of a sense pleasure in life.

Sometimes there’s depression, feeling hopeless, feeling powerless, and in the more extreme cases a sense self-contempt, hating yourself.  This often results in complaining about work, complaining about life, or others complaining about your work, like the quality of your work is going down.

Sometimes this leads to dreading a day of work that requires taking care of somebody, or feeling guilty about dreading the day at work.  Sometimes there’s a sense of irritability or increased emotional responses, like going off the deep end.  Sometimes there’s a sense of feeling unfulfilled.

According to the American Institute of Stress, there are four stages of compassion fatigue:

It starts with enthusiasm, being enthusiastic  about doing your work, many of us have felt that.

There’s a stagnation phase, where you’re just plugging along, doing the work that needs to be done.

There’s a sense of frustration, being frustrated with the work that you’re doing.

Lastly, this leads to apathy, because you just get so tired of caring all the time, and you just can’t carry that energy.

The good news is, there’s several strategies for preventing compassion fatigue in Broomfield, Colorado.

Journaling can be helpful, just getting those thoughts on paper, vacations taking a break from your life; even if you love your life, as I do, it’s nice to step away once in a while.  Meditation, of course, can be a very effective coping strategy,

Exercise, getting out, getting some fresh air; sometimes you need to get some talk therapy for yourself, consult a professional counselor.

And of course there are simpler, more positive coping strategies.  Taking a warm bath, talking with a friend.  Deep breathing can be useful. How about watching a funny movie, just to take a break from the situation?

You also might take a look at your diet.  Make sure that you’re eating healthy, nourishing food.  Hobbies can be useful, just to take a break from the situation.  Also there are often support groups in the community for those with compassion fatigue.

This way you can talk with like-minded individuals, just to share your thoughts.  Sometimes in these support groups, other people have coping strategies that can be useful to you.

I hope this video has been useful to you.  My name is Mark, I’m with Vital Touch LLC, and I hope to see you soon.  Thanks for watching.

I will visit your home or office in and around Broomfield, Colorado and the surrounding Denver Metro area.  For Massage Therapy from a practitioner who understands Compassion Fatigue, call 303.819.0097.

Join the conversation on Facebook Follow me on Twitter