If trauma is a part of your life, either as a survivor or as a provider, and in many cases both, practicing self care is an important step in ensuring you don’t become overwhelmed. According to Christine Meinecke Ph.D. in her post entitled Self-care in a toxic world for Psychology Today, practicing self care means, “choosing behaviors that balance the effects of emotional and physical stressors: exercising, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, practicing yoga or meditation or relaxation techniques, abstaining from substance abuse, pursuing creative outlets, engaging in psychotherapy. Also essential to self-care is learning to self-soothe or calm our physical and emotional distress” (Meinecke, 2010). As important as practicing self care is, it’s not as easy to accomplish as we might expect. Here you’ll find descriptions of some of the effects of trauma, and strategies to maintain as healthy a life balance as possible.
Meinecke, C. (2010). Self-care in a toxic world. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/everybody-marries-the-wrong-person/201006/self-care-in-toxic-world
American Psychological Association: Psychologist Locator
“Compassion fatigue is the cumulative physical, emotional and psychological effect of exposure to traumatic stories or events when working in a helping capacity, combined with the strain and stress of everyday life.
It’s important to note that compassion fatigue is different than burnout. While burnout is predictable, building over time and resulting in work dissatisfaction, compassion fatigue has a narrower focus. Someone affected by compassion fatigue may be harmed by the work they do, experiencing intrusive imagery and a change in world-view.” Excerpt taken from The American Bar Association. Continue reading here.
Office for Victims of Crime: Compassion Fatigue
Aging Care: Compassion Fatigue – When Caregivers go Beyond Burnout
AVMA: Work and Compassion Fatigue
Psychology Today: Empathy Burnout and Compassion Fatigue Among Animal Rescuers
Domestic Shelters: When Domestic Violence Takes a Toll on the Helpers
DogCentric: Saying Goodbye to Gamechanger, Dr. Sofia Yin
TED: Patricia Smith – How to Manage Compassion Fatigue in Caregiving
“Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel like you have nothing more to give.” Excerpt from HELPGUIDE.ORG, continue reading here.
Good Therapy: Mental Health Workers May Not Recognize Their Own Burnout
Domestic Shelter: How Survivor Advocates Can Avoid Burnout
Domestic Shelter: When the Work is Too Much
AgingCare.com: 6 Sings of Caregiver Burnout
Best Friends: Animal Caretaker Burnout
AVMA: One veterinarian explores professional wellness
Child Welfare Information Gateway: Burnout/Secondary Trauma