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|Posted on March 1, 2018 at 9:40 AM|
How to Recognize and Prevent Compassion Fatigue There are many red flags that point to the onset of burnout and especially compassion fatigue, but caregivers must know what signs to look for and be able to detect them in their own behavior in order to act on them. Both the information and self-awareness are key to preventing long-lasting emotional issues and even stress-related physical illness. Being proactive is one of the best ways to combat compassion fatigue or at least prevent it from getting out of hand, urges Valentin. Warning Signs of Compassion Fatigue Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and drained Avoidance and not wanting to be around your loved one (choosing to work late, daydreaming about no longer having to care for them, etc.) A decrease in patience and tolerance Angry outbursts that are uncharacteristic of your behavior Cynicism and hopelessness Heightened anxiety Impaired ability to make care decisions If you begin noticing any of these signs, the next step is to make yourself a priority and tend to, at the very least, some of your needs. Remember that compassion fatigue is not black and whit it is a continuum. Each caregiver has different limits, and there are times throughout the caregiving journey where ones susceptibility to stress will increase and decrease. Many will experience these warning signs from time to time. These feelings and behaviors are undesirable but common for a demographic that is so overworked and has so few resources available. When the list above begins to describe daily life rather than fleeting behavior on a bad day, it is absolutely time to act. (AgingCare.com).