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How to combat compassion fatigue

At City Year, we give ourselves to our students and teammate from sunrise to sunset on average five days a week. We provide them a secure space to open up to us where we offer comfort, care, concern and empathy to all. However, we can overextend ourselves in our efforts to give the best of them. As we are nearing the end of the year, we might have a feeling as the day progresses that we can’t quite put our finger on.

Have you ever felt like you could not offer the proper care to a student after a given point? As if you were hardening against the sadness of others? This feeling is known as Compassion Fatigue. It is possible to develop this sense of fatigue when you offer more than you are capable of for extended periods of time. You may find yourself less responsive the more the need for compassion arises. While it may seem mythical to be fatigued from caring for others it can happen if we are not careful. But don’t worry, there are ways to combat it and get back to work. Here are a few times to stay within your limits.

Treat yourself

As Jaime Ditman, learning and development manager, wisely stated, “Treat Yourself!” Whether that means buying yourself a nice book to read or making your favorite dinner, give yourself opportunities to do things that make you happy.

Develop a healthy habit

It takes 21 days to form a habit. Start with one, master it and then pick a new one. Some ideas are working out, eating healthy and getting eight hours of sleep.

Eat healthy

Eating all the ice cream in your freezer and binge watching your favorite TV show might seem like a great idea in the moment, but remember your body will only put out what it receives. Eat healthy and you are bound to feel emotionally healthy. An unhappy body is a bad day waiting to happen.

I hope you all take some time to care for yourselves! We have an emotionally demanding job that requires us to sometimes take a step back and remember to care for ourselves as well. Check out some of the resources below!

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