That's When I Knew I Had Crossed the Line
Last month I was talking with a wonderful manager of a small, under-resourced animal shelter. She was trying to figure out how to support her staff and reduce the toll compassion fatigue was taking on them.
She understood compassion fatigue all too well.
In a previous career she'd worked in a nursing home. One of her duties was calling the families to notify them when their loved one died. She made these calls routinely, but she knew that, for the folks on the other end of the line, this call was anything but routine.
So she always did her best to be compassionate and fully present as she spoke with the families. She told herself that if she ever got calloused and uncaring on those calls she would know it was time to call it quits.
Then one day it happened. She was on a death notification call and watched herself rush right through it. She was checked out. She didn't feel anything, except maybe a little annoyed.
Right then and there, she knew she'd crossed the line.
She upheld her promise to herself and left that job. It was the right call for her at that time.
Taking a break or finding a new job can be an excellent way to cope with compassion fatigue.
But there are also ways you can intervene for yourself sooner, before you cross the line.
There steps you can take to bring yourself back if you've crossed over that line and you want to keep doing your meaningful work.
If you think you've crossed that line or are getting close and want some help, my course Compassion Fatigue Strategies starts Monday. It's not too late to sign up (or to come back over the line).
Registration closes next week. It'll be a full year before I offer the course again.
Please don't miss this chance to ditch the confusion and exhaustion, take care of your needs, and be in control of your life. You deserve a better 2020.
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