Burnout and compassion fatigue are increasingly common and can take a toll on your overall resilience. Maybe you’re on the front lines right now as a health care worker, caring tirelessly for the people around you. Giving of yourself in this way is admirable — and can come with a host of benefits! But leaving time and space to care for your own well-being is important, too.
Burnout is defined as emotional exhaustion. It occurs over time, in response to an increase in the work you are doing or that you are anticipating that you’ll have to do.
It often occurs in stages. You might start off feeling enthusiastic. However, that can quickly change into feeling stuck, frustrated and eventually disengaged in work that used to matter to you.
Compassion fatigue is another type of emotional stress. It occurs when you are working with others who are suffering from trauma. As a result, it can have a more rapid onset than burnout.
Symptoms of compassion fatigue include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased emotional intensity
- Impaired judgment
- Loss of hope or morale
- Physical or mental exhaustion
According to The American Institute of Stress, it is essential to recognize the symptoms of both so that you can manage them in a healthy way.
Coach Sean shares what managing these experiences might look like in your life.