Helping Others by Helping Yourself02/28/2020
Now nearly three months into 2020, how many of us have already begun feeling burnt out?
“What have you done for you?” asked Michelle Post to more than 400 attendees at Donor Network of Arizona’s (DNA) 2019 “Illuminate” Donation Symposium last August. Followed by, “What can you do to take care of yourself?” It is not selfish, rather a request to consider how to best prevail. Burnout, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue can affect anyone in the donation community.
Compassion fatigue doesn’t discriminate whether someone is a director, an embalmer, an educator, a nurse or anyone else. Lack of self-care as shared by Michelle Post—a licensed marriage and family therapist—can reduce your performance. It may also affect your physical and emotional well being. According to Are You Burning Out Survey, adapted by Post, “83% of U.S. healthcare workers are dealing with serious levels of burnout.”
It is not uncommon to experience symptoms, which include but are not limited to: poor boundaries, cynicism, complaining without solutions, irritability, anger, hopelessness, mundanity or loss of creativity, sadness, fear, guilt, chronic exhaustion, headaches and digestive problems. Some suggestions to combat compassion fatigue are: setting healthy professional and personal boundaries, using occupational support if available, debriefing, venting or writing and exercising certainly counts. Post uses the “PEAK” mantra.
PEAK performance means:
P—Present: I am here
E—Be Exceptional: I matter
A—Having Anxiety Managed: I am courageous
K—Kicking Butt: Owning self-care
On days it’s harder to PEAK and make time, it’s more important to focus on self-care. To learn more on the PEAK method and self-care, visit Michelle-Post.com.