Stress, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue
© 2022 Dr. Samaria M Colbert
Stress, Burnout and Compassion fatigue is real. It is something we must overcome. Your life, purpose and physical health is very important.
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed, overpowered and overdone. It is emotional, mental, physical, and psychological pressure. Stress can lead to high blood pressure, weight loss or gain, heart disease, seizures, strokes, and early death.
Stress long term leads to burnout, which is mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. When one gets to burnout, they experience loss, hopelessness, and despondency. Burnout is characterized by loss of motivation, and extreme depression.
Burnout can lead to suicidal ideations, or the thought of wanting to die. Burnout can come after times of great challenge, or victory. Burnout is emotional, mental, physical, and psychological exhaustion.
Compassion fatigue is also emotional, mental, physical, and psychological exhaustion; however, it comes because of doing the right thing for a long time. You will find that individuals who work in helping professions such as nurses, trauma therapist, medical doctors, spiritual leaders, and the like experience compassion fatigue.
It is often experienced by those that help those that are emotionally, physically or mentally sick. They experience vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue.
Long periods of pressure, turmoil, chaos with no seeming release.
No self-care (repeated patterns of taking care of others with no or little regard for self) An unhealthy sense of self sacrifice.
No help. Or having people who are present or either not skilled, not helpful or combination of both.
Being the “strong one” that everyone depends on.
Ongoing unhealthy, toxic relationships.
Unresolved childhood trauma.
Not delegating authority appropriately.
Sudden changes such as we have experienced with this pandemic.
Pushing past your capacity. Remember capacity is the limit by which something or a weight can be carried.
For a scripture reference read I Kings 19.
What we gain from the text is simple, even the most anointed can experience stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. We must follow the text to gain insight on how to resolve it.
Your refreshing will come when you get away. Go on a sabbatical. I recommend at least 30 days at minimum. However, there are some who need to realistically take more. Most people can’t afford that however if you can take 6 months to a year.
Get to a quiet place. Remember you won’t be able to heal in the place the drains you. God won’t refuel you in the noise rather in the quiet place. It is in this place God will refill you, confirm your identity and give you instructions after he has strengthened you.
You must commit to making lasting changes. When you don’t commit your efforts are meaningless.
Commit to resting regularly. Resting is not sleeping, it is a place of tranquility where you are doing nothing. Remember your body will naturally refuel itself when it rests.
You must reevaluate your connections. Everyone shouldn’t have access to you. You need divine connections who are wells of living water. No one who is draining to you should have open and intimate access to you.
Recommit to the assignment with new changes, new strength, and the new habits.
© 2022 Dr. Samaria M Colbert