Compassion (for those in the caring/helping fields)

“If a man cannot understand the beauty of life, it is probably because life never understood the beauty in him.” 

Criss Jami

Compassion is a lovely word and it’s meaning is the sympathetic consciousness of others distress together with a desire to alleviate it (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). 

I think that it is a human trait to be compassionate to others and this is why many people get into the helping professions, such as the health industry.

Whilst I see being compassionate as a lovely trait, like anything – it can also have a downside as people may burn out.  Carer fatigue or compassion fatigue does exist, and steps need to be taken to avoid this.

I know that I have been discussing self-care for a few weeks now.  It is high on my agenda, both inside my clinic and outside.  For those in the caring/helping fields, self-care is essential as you cannot help others if you are run down yourself. I have downloaded Black Dogs Self-Care Plan and provide this as a handout to all my clients at some point.  I have also used this for wellbeing discussions with health professionals.  Do a quick google search and see if you can find it.  It is a really useful plan as it highlights that we all have negative and positive coping strategies when dealing with stress.  It also provides the different aspects to self-care and gives examples of what these activities may look like.

Taking time out for yourself to reduce the burden is necessary and helps you provide a better service to those that you care for.