What is Compassion Fatigue And Signs You May Have It

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and emotionally drained when trying to shoulder the pain or suffering of others? If so, chances are you’re experiencing compassion fatigue. But what is compassion fatigue?

While you may not have heard this phrase before, at some point in your life you may have felt it to some degree.

What is compassion fatigue?

Compassion fatigue can be described as the cost of caring for another in emotional pain. It happens when you try to take someone else’s pain as your own or provide support that goes beyond simple empathy and can eventually tire you out. But fear not! There are ways in which you can still be a caring person without always having to rush to work.

Signs of Compassion Fatigue (And How to Deal With Them)

Here are four signs that you’re tired of compassion, and ways to keep each sign under control.

1. Make other people’s problems your own

Do you wake up in the morning and immediately feel emotionally drained from worrying if a particular friend or family member is okay and then try to think of ways to help? This could be a sign that you are experiencing compassion fatigue.

It’s natural to worry about the well-being of the person you care for. However, when you can’t focus on anything else and feel the need to constantly text or call the person to check in, it’s best to step back for a bit.

It can be easy to try to help others through a difficult time, but when their problems are constantly on your mind, this leads to compassion fatigue and you will feel heavy.

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Next time you feel concerned about someone else’s pain and consider what you can do to make their day better, consider these suggestions:

Rest for a while

Take a few minutes to sit in silence and settle your mind. By taking the time to do a personal check, you can realize that you are operating at a low frequency where you are full of stress.

Breathe, literally or figuratively

Meditation can keep you awake and even help you think of new ways to approach your friend’s situation without trying too hard. You might also consider starting your day by listening to positive music or cooking a healthy breakfast to ease your loved one’s need to deal with their problems.

On the one hand, it’s easy to want to save someone in trouble, but obsessing about helping others doesn’t work for your own life.

Shift your focus

To manage compassion fatigue, consider focusing on other aspects of your own life or find new activities to diversify your time. Try not to stress too much about their situation or be their problem solver. When you give yourself space to distance yourself from the pain of a loved one, the emotions that come with tragic fatigue won’t overwhelm you. You will feel more refreshed, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

2. You are going out

If you find yourself getting too irritable and easily annoyed with others, you may be feeling exhausted by focusing too much on your friend’s problems.

Remember this: Signs of compassion fatigue show up in the way you treat the people in your life who aren’t going through the hard times.

When you’re constantly scared or worried about a friend who’s having a hard time, you can feel drained. You may find yourself overreacting or short-tempered with family or co-workers. Neglecting other people in your life who care about you or treating them poorly stems from your pent-up frustration and stress. It takes a lot of strength to get through the fatigue of compassion while still getting through the motions of life.

By finding outlets for grievances and anxieties, whether it’s physical activity or deep conversations, you’ll find yourself less emotionally volatile and will treat others differently. attentive way.

People with compassion fatigue find the following suggestions helpful in keeping them from getting offended:

Don’t lash out. Do exercise!

To clear your emotions and drain toxic energy, consider going for a run or taking an exercise class. A kickboxing session is a good way to release any aggression, and venting your anger into the punching bag will keep you from blowing up with your spouse, family members, or other friends. Being physically active will give you a boost of endorphins and allow you to feel refreshed.

Speak out

When you’re trying to carry too much of someone else’s pain on your shoulders, you should have someone to confide in. It should be someone you trust, like a loyal family member or therapist. Saying out loud how you feel about taking on someone else’s troubles makes you feel really beneficial for clearing your head.

Write out

Journaling is another way to get rid of negative thoughts and freely express whatever is bothering you. When you can release the heavy emotions in your chest, you can spend more time focusing on uplifting activities or thoughts.

3. You are emotionally hopeless

When you feel tired, there are days when you are so upset by your friend’s suffering that you lack the energy to do anything and operate with low vibration. These negative feelings are amplified because you really want to help this person and guide them towards a solution, but you really don’t have the power to make the decision.

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Think of it this way: When faced with your own stressors, you can act, but when faced with other people’s problems, you can’t force them to choose. This is what leads to feelings of hopelessness and emotional exhaustion, but there are solutions to this too:

Let go of control

You must give up any expectation that your friends or family members will change in response to something you suggest. They just might not be ready. You can still offer advice or offer potential solutions, but by making your assumptions change, you won’t feel frustrated or defeated.

Give yourself space to feel

When you’re tired of compassion, you should allow yourself to cry well. It’s exhausting trying to be strong in front of a friend who’s in pain, so letting yourself break down and sob can be exhausting.

Get your Z

The length of your sleep also plays an important role in your mental health. When you are always concerned about the troubles of a loved one, you may experience many sleepless nights, when your mind is tired you may say and do things that do not always make sense.

Consider using a sleep aid like melatonin or relaxing sounds to help you rest more. Even taking a twenty-minute nap after a day at work can make a big difference in your energy levels and emotions. Giving your mind and body enough rest will replenish your nutrients so you can make the right decisions in life and offer insightful advice.

4. You look for unhealthy habits

If you always try to be a sympathetic ear while trying to ease your friend’s pain, you will become tired and exhausted. Feeling exhausted from carrying too much of someone else’s suffering can cause you to turn to other vices. It can be difficult to be the scapegoat for someone else’s pain, so you may want to find unhealthy ways to feel at ease.

Perhaps you find yourself eating junk food late at night when you’re usually fast asleep. Or maybe you have started gambling or experimenting with illegal substances as a way to have a good time and distract your mind. When you’re emotionally desperate, you can catch toxic activities that provide fleeting pleasure. This is a sign of compassion fatigue. Try the following suggestions to manage this symptom.

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Find a more active store

When you find yourself tempted by negative activities, shift your focus to something positive instead. Consider volunteering at a food bank or maybe even offering to become a dog walker. Sometimes you have to pay attention to someone’s negative situation and shine a light on more productive or inspiring activities.

Find your (liked) person

Another approach to alleviating this symptom of compassion fatigue is to consider joining a support group. It doesn’t have to be a community focused on coping with pain and struggles, but it could be a Bible study or networking group. Being surrounded by like-minded people can be invigorating, and you may even find an ally who can sympathize with your feelings of compassion fatigue and teach you new resources.

Instead of reaching for that dessert in the middle of the night, consider listening to a new podcast or audiobook. With so many podcast topics and YouTube videos, you’re sure to find the guide helpful. There is so much strength in knowing that you are not alone in what you are going through. When you find a close friendship among a new group of people or hear a quote in a video that really impresses you, it can change your entire outlook on life. You’ll be able to kick unhealthy habits and spend that energy on valuable learning experiences.


It’s good to know how to care and want to help others. Empathy strengthens social bonds and helps us work together to address the wrongs of society. But unfortunately, being constantly concerned about the well-being of friends and loved ones can also come with negative side effects in other behaviors.

However, if you start by identifying the signs and symptoms that you’re experiencing compassion fatigue, you can use the suggestions in this article to turn those feelings into more positive and productive events.

Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

https://www.lifehack.org/922546/what-is-compassion-fatigue What is Compassion Fatigue And Signs You May Have It

Sarah Ridley

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