Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash
by Catharine Hannay, founder of MindfulTeachers.org
guest post at the Center for Adolescent Studies/Heart Spring Community for Helping Professionals
“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet.”
Kitchen Table Wisdom, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, p. 52
2020 was an overwhelming year for anyone who works in health care, counseling, or education. As committed as you are to your work, it can be challenging to keep helping others while also caring for your family and worrying about your own health and safety. (And ‘challenging’ is putting it mildly.)
When I first started writing this post, I was trying to figure out the best way to explain the differences between burnout and compassion fatigue; compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma; and vicarious trauma and empathic distress.
Burnout? Compassion fatigue? Empathic distress? Vicarious trauma, not to mention primary trauma? You’re likely experiencing all of those simultaneously, on top of sheer physical exhaustion. We can leave the nuanced distinctions for another day.
Whatever specific issues you’re dealing with, here are four tips that can help you feel calmer in the midst of the chaos. If it seems appropriate, you might also want to share them with your patients, students, or clients.
You can read the full post at: