Nursing is difficult at the best of times. When you throw a worldwide pandemic into the mix, your usual self-care methods may not be quite what they need to be. At this point, self-care seems laughable. A bubble bath and fancy latte aren’t going to make your life that much easier. Are you dealing with compassion fatigue or burnout as a healthcare worker?
What is compassion fatigue?
You may have heard of compassion fatigue or it may be a new concept for you. In short, compassion fatigue is when you spend all your time caring for others. As a result, you don’t put any time or energy into yourself. You feel tired of caring, literally. Chances are you are experiencing compassion fatigue at least to some degree. This is especially true of those who have been on the frontlines of the covid 19 pandemic.
Signs and symptoms of compassion fatigue
There are many signs of compassion fatigue. Some of them are listed below. But, this is not a comprehensive list and your signs and symptoms may be different.
- Mood swings
- Irritability or anger
- Detachment or isolation
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Loss of focus
- Physical ailments such as fatigue, insomnia, changes in appetite, and headaches.
How to deal with compassion fatigue from an Orange County Therapist
Those in caring professions will likely feel compassion fatigue at some point. But, it doesn’t have to grow into a bigger problem. Here are five tips on how to deal with compassion fatigue as a nurse during covid 19.
Be mindful of picking up shifts
Everyone is understaffed, and I’m sure your department is no different. There is likely pressure to pick up shifts, or even mandatory shifts added to your schedule. I would encourage you to be kind to yourself and know when you can pick up a shift and when you don’t. While your team needs you there, they also need you all the way there. Picking up shifts every now and then is great. But, if you pick up shifts, again and again, you are likely to veer from compassion fatigue into burnout from working too much.
Focus on the positive
All jobs come with challenges, some may have different ones. As a healthcare professional, you’re faced with a lot of stress and challenges. You are a compassionate person and often give so much of yourself. It can be easy to focus on the negative of your role instead of the positives. The one negative outcome might shadow over the rest of a good day. Reminding yourself of the positives in your career and life can have a big impact. I recommend practicing gratitude journaling. Think of three things you are grateful for every night before bed. Doing so can shift how you view your experiences in a tremendous way.
Carve out time to care for yourself
Self-care doesn’t have to be all bubble baths and fancy beverages. True self-care looks different for each person. We all have those activities or methods of resting that work to recharge us. It is vital to ask yourself what worked pre-pandemic and think of how to adjust or increase it as you move forward. What may have worked before doesn’t work now. That’s ok. Give yourself permission to play and see what helps you recharge and what doesn’t. Ask friends for suggestions on what they do to take care of themselves and see what sparks your interest. Try something new! You don’t have to be good at it to have fun doing it.
Being sure to schedule time for self-care makes a big difference in whether you will take that time or not. Put it on your calendar and make it nonnegotiable! This goes back to the whole idea of putting your oxygen mask on first. You can’t care for your patients and family with an empty tank. Building in time for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s self-care.
Find and use community
Finally, find a community that uplifts you and gives you energy. Whether it is a faith tradition, athletic team, or a group of friends. Finding the people who can pour into you and care for you is a tremendous help. Knowing you’re not alone in your exhaustion can go a long way in feeling better and being able to care for others.
When is it time to seek compassion fatigue treatment as a nurse?
You may have tried these tips, or feel that they won’t be enough to help you get out from under the cloud of compassion fatigue. If so, it might be time to consider therapy for compassion fatigue in Orange County, CA. Our counseling office offers therapy for women across the state. A therapist for women can help you find your way through compassion fatigue.
Begin Working with A Therapist for Women in Orange County, CA
You don’t have to become burnt out by the important work you are doing. Our team of caring therapists understands you may be under great stress. This is why we are happy to offer support in learning self-care skills from our Orange County, CA-based therapy practice. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:
- Contact Moxie Family Therapy
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start overcoming anxiety and cherish your newborn!
Other Services Offered at Moxie Family Therapy in California
Therapy for women isn’t the only service we provide at our Orange County, CA-based practice. Our team offers counseling for young adults, children, teens, and couples. We also offer therapy for anxiety, therapy for therapists, clinical supervision, adoption therapy, art therapy, and play therapy. Our team is also happy to support the LGBTQ+ community. Contact us today and learn how we can help you reclaim your moxie!