I know school has just re-started for most, and I know that everyone has spent months worried about students, families and ourselves. The energy has changed as some are physically back in the classroom and many others are teaching with remote technology. No matter the method of educating, the stress and preoccupation from COVID continues to weigh heavy for most of us.
This heavy weight can be very wearing on people and can lead to compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue has been described as the “cost of caring” for others in emotional pain (Figley, 1982). It also refers to the emotional and physical exhaustion that takes place when you are not able to refuel and regenerate.
Signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue can include anxiety, depression, disrupted sleep, feelings of helplessness. If you are noticing any of these symptoms and can’t seems to pull yourself back to your happy state, you may be suffering from compassion fatigue. So what do we do?
During these stressful times it’s critical to maintain positive self-care and compassion. You can protect yourself from compassion fatigue by incorporating the following strategies into your daily lives.
- Make adequate time for deep breathing throughout the day to regain equilibrium.
- Maintain a balance between work and time off.
- Find someone to talk to about your feelings.
- Use self-calming strategies like walking, exercise, yoga.
- Get adequate sleep and maintain good nutrition.
- Seek professional support when necessary.
Being teachers innately makes you caregivers. You care for our students, and staff, our families, and everyone in your circle. Are you taking care of yourself as well? Are you feeling exhausted from caring mentally and physically for others? If so, you may have compassion fatigue.
Now more than ever you need to take care of yourself in order to be strong during this COVID pandemic. Practice the strategies above to help maintain self-care and self-compassion.
Find compassion for yourself.
Be Healthy. B-Resilient.
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Because of this, the text is raw and unedited.