Methods To Help Prevent and Recover from Compassion Fatigue

When a person is affected by vicarious trauma and experiences compassion fatigue, it limits how they can interact and engage with others. For example, a clinician’s interaction and engagement with their client will be impacted and therefore limit the effectiveness of their treatment. Because a person can disclose trauma at any time, awareness of the topic is important (particularly for those in the health and social work professions), so that they understand how to care for and engage in self-care for themselves.

What can we do to help ourselves stay mindful? We need to look after ourselves physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

How you can engage in self-care – physically:

  • Regular medical care
  • Eat healthy
  • Regular sleep
  • Exercise
  • Get a massage
  • Physical intimacy e.g. hugs or holding hands

How you can engage in self-care – psychologically:

How you can engage in self-care – emotionally:

  • Explore a hobby
  • Cuddle with your pet
  • Community engagement
  • Practice self-love
  • Cry
  • Laugh

How you can engage in selfcare – socially/personally:

  • Plan and set goals
  • Spend time with family
  • Learn a new skill
  • Read a book
  • Making time for friends
  • Reflect on who you are and what makes you special
  • Leave work at work
  • Take mental health holidays
  • Learn to say No
  • Set boundaries

How you can engage in selfcare – spiritually:

  • Practice forgiveness
  • Spend time in nature
  • Connect with a spiritual community
  • Sing or dance
  • Yoga
  • Volunteer for a cause

For those who work in the fields of health and social work, caring for yourself allows you to better care for clients and their families. For families that are affected by trauma or those who have a person close to them that has experienced trauma, it’s important to know how to best support yourself so you don’t become traumatised as well.

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