a caregiver, if you’re experiencing the emotional exhaustion and physical
symptoms related to compassion/empathy fatigue, here’s what you can do to help:
Lessen your load
Start small until you can work out a plan for some time
off. Start with a half-day off on a regular basis. Though it’s not always easy or
even feasible, it would be best if you could plan a little break or a
mini-holiday. While it may be down the road, the act of planning the break itself
will give you immediately relief because it’s something positive to focus on.
Take sleep hygiene seriously
During times of chronic stress, our cortisol (a stress hormone) can be elevated, and this decreases our ability to cope with day-to-day life. Having a strict sleep schedule in place—which takes into account enough sleep, and getting up at a consistent time—is critical to our well-being.
Talk to someone
Dealing with the emotional and physical burdens of compassion fatigue by yourself is bad for your mental health. If you have a family member or a friend you can talk to about what you’re going through, that’s a start. Ideally, seek out a support group of other caregivers or find a good therapist who can work with you on a regular basis.
Find easy stress-relieving activities
For now, when you want instant
help for caregiver fatigue, find easy solutions that will help with self-care.
Take a hot bath, find a spot by yourself and read, or practice breathing
exercises. Many have found loving-kindness meditation to be quite helpful in
increasing their capacity for connecting with their loved one.
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