Tuesday, April 15, 2014

" Giver … "

Dream wild in waves of confidence and heart 
Don't underestimate the power of your part 
Throw the rules away 
Trust your gut and make it 
On your own 

Don't underestimate the glories of the road 
Because when you're on your own you've got it all 
Throw the rules away 
To stand and deliver now. 
All is yours 

~ Hot Water Music ~ Giver ~

In our society, given the constant demands of our time and energy, we need to have large reserves of empathy ... it is crucial.  Yet all this empathy can also leave you exhausted and unable to care anymore because you’re a giver ... and maybe you just gave too much.

.caregiver burnout ... compassion fatigue ... empathy emptied ... giver gave out

Interestingly, most don’t recognize that they too, need care.  Usually, they feel they can handle the pressure.  But the most important way to prevent compassion fatigue is to care for yourself before you care for anyone else ... eventually your body will tell your mind ... listen.  And this is very different from everyday work stresses as the fatigue results from taking on the emotional burden of a patient’s agony.  Some even equate it to a post traumatic stress disorder with symptoms that can range from irritability, disturbed sleep, outbursts of anger, intrusive thoughts and maybe even a desire to avoid anything having to do with the patient's struggle. 
... all from trying to help others ...

So some ways that may help relieve the pressures ...

mindful meditation decreases depression and anxiety
writing in a journal helps you express your feelings
grounding yourself daily 
taking a vacation or break
asking for help to lighten the load

Care giving is a job ... and for some of us through sickness and in health.  So the best you can do for anyone is the best for yourself, because remember ...

“it’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it” 
~ Lena Horne

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