If you are a caregiver or seeing that your loved one is being taken care of…you may be in my tribe.  I learned a new phrase today, Compassion Fatigue.  We always hear about “caregiver burnout,” but I had never heard the phrase “compassion fatigue,” until today.

Here are some symptoms of Compassion Fatigue:

Feeling physically and emotionally exhausted all of the time

Feeling disconnected or detached from your own body or thoughts

Feelings of unfairness toward the caregiver relationship


Feelings of dislike or hatred (of yourself or others)

Trouble sleeping


Weight loss or Weight gain


Low backaches

Poor job satisfaction

Self-medicating with alcohol or medications

Are you at risk for Caregiver Burnout?

If you are a caregiver dealing with stressful situations…YES!

What can you do to alleviate Compassion Fatigue as a Caregiver?

    1. Be open to the possibility that you can provide better care AND get your life back

    1. At about the 3 year mark, you are probably at the end of your rope and need someone to help.  When you get to this point and are ready for help, that is when I can be of service to your loved one and to you too.

    1. Talk therapy, venting to a trusted friend.

    1. Regular exercise

    1. Recognize that self-care is necessary and not selfish.

    1. Eating healthier foods.

    1. Drinking more water every day

    1. Find something you enjoy and do it weekly

    1. Attend support group meetings

Accepting help is not a weakness.  Give yourself a break, this may not be your area of expertise and that is okay. You have your own areas of expertise and you are great at those.  One thing we were taught very early in pharmacy school was, “Are you smart enough to know, when you don’t know?”  Then, you find those that do. Collaborating and working together makes it easier for everyone to do their best and get the best results.

Pat Collins

Empowering Health Options

Email pat@empoweringhealthoptions.com

Telephone 865-684-8771

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