A few weeks ago we published a post about compassion fatigue inspired by some research about the negative impacts of compassion fatigue on front-line health care workers.
As promised we will now be sharing some individual and workplace strategies to help prevent and combat compassion fatigue.
- Build self-awareness and understand your own stress signals. Check out this compassion fatigue self-assessment as a way to start.
- Keep a journal to track your mental and physical well-being. Notice patterns and make small changes
- Block off dedicated self-care time and schedule this like a meeting
- Develop a weekly ritual both at work and at home to incorporate small or large acts of self-care
- Ask for help at work and at home
- Try the "5-30" challenge - eat at least 5 fruits/veggies every day, and exercise at least 30 minutes/day
- Incorporate daily mindfulness/relaxation/meditation exercises
- Make a commitment to change - write your plans down, tell your friends!
- Provide access to medical, psychological and counselling services
- Provide ongoing education on both work-related tasks, and self-care
- Develop a policy or standard for self-care
- Encourage contributions from staff at all levels, and implement changes based on these suggestions
- Recognize and reward good work
- Develop a culture of self-care by ensuring individuals in leadership positions model good behaviour, including taking lunch breaks and holidays, working at a reasonable pace, etc. Acknowledge that this takes practice and commitment!
- Demonstrate concern with general wellbeing of co-workers/staff
Some of these might seem easy to implement, and some might seem more challenging or daunting. Pick one small change to try this week in your roles at work and at home.
Let us know what you're already doing to combat compassion fatigue in your role.
What do you want to try out?
The Compassion Fatigue Workbook, by Francoise Mathieu (2012)
Image from: www.motaen.com