Compassion Fatigue and the Importance of a Self-Care Regime

March 02, 2018


Make a Plan to Elude Compassion Fatigue

I was listening to Dr Cierce West-Olatunji speaking on The Traumatic Effects of Disasters earlier today and it brought to mind that I used to have a written, timetable, I suppose is what you’d call it – that I followed quite diligently, to ensure that my own mental health was taken care of. Dr Cierce prompted me to reflect on how Im travelling right now, and how I might improve on my own self-care in the coming year.

Compassion fatigue, or burnout as it is sometimes referred to is a serious issue for us all and can seriously impact on our personal health and well-being as well as our effectiveness with clients. If you have read my previous post on the Importance of Self-care, you won’t need a reminder on why we all need to be taking care of ourselves from the perspective of productivity, and if you didn’t catch it, you can access it here

I encourage you to get pen and paper out and make a plan for yourself, that will ensure that your working year is broken up, that you have rest days and regular periods in each day to revitalize, ground and balance yourself.

Like me you may need to actually schedule time in to your diary to;

  • Prep food for the week so that you can nourish your body with healthy food quickly and easily so that you actually do have lunch and eat well after a long day
  • Meditate before or after work
  • Do some physical exercise to keep your energy levels up
  • Socialise with friends
  • Learn something new that has nothing to do with work
  • Spend quality time with the people you love

If you get creative and plan ahead you can link things up, like attending specialist training in a different city for your annual professional development quota and having a little holiday before or after. Maybe you’ll do a tour of the Sydney Opera House and climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge before doing the next Build Your Practice Workshop in Sydney, or fly to Perth to attend a course so you can go from there to visit friends who live in Bunbury or Newman - that way you can make part of the visit to see your friends tax deductible.

So give yourself an hour or so and sit down with a calender for 2018 and look at where you want to take some breaks. Build in a couple of 4 day weekends here and there so you can go camping if thats your thing, check out what days and times your favourite pilates instructor is teaching and rejig your appointment times with clients so you can attend those classes. Do what you need to do and just make things work for you. Afterall, this is one of the wonderful benefits of running your own therapy business! Enjoy.