Ever feel like you just don’t have anything left to give? I. Sure at times we have all felt like this. Well, now there's a name for it, and it's called compassion fatigue. When I was meditating last week that phrase popped into my head, and I asked Siri if it was a real thing because I never heard of it before. Wikipedia's definition is “ Emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. Sometimes described as the negative cost of caring or referred to as secondary traumatic stress.”
Many of us are empathic and so this makes perfect sense to me. We want to help everyone else and we don't pay attention to our own needs. If we only paid attention to our energy reserves, we would know we run on empty most of the time. Especially with those caregivers that have been taking care of someone for a long time, putting their needs last on the list. Although we all think we are Superwomen or Superman there comes a time when we have to cover the “S” on our shirts long enough to care for ourselves. We have to stop seeing it as some kind of failure. No is a complete sentence as my friend tells me.
I just read a book called Real Self Care and the whole premise of the book is that we need much more than meditation or a bubble bath for self-care. She talks about boundaries being the glue that holds us together and that is real self-care because if our boundaries are in place then we don't waste our energies on things we don't really want to do. It's important that we can say no and save our energies for things we really need to say yes to, and that way we are taking care of ourselves. Self-care is always an inside job and one of the most important things for mental, emotional, and physical health. So start building your energy tank with compassion for yourself and then when you want to show up for someone else you can, and you will have more energy for yourself as well!