Feeling the weight of grief or worry for loved ones, or people you don’t even know but still care about? I feel for you. I feel it too. Here’s how I’m taking care, and what I’ve learned.
I read this morning about how getting saturated with hard news clips and images can create long-lasting second-hand trauma. ❤️🩹 That’s serious.
I was reminded of these important tips for managing this so that we don’t fall into our own trauma, anxiety, or burnout…
- We all need to be careful to only take in hard news in moderation. Breaks are allowed and healthy.
- When choosing to take in news, reading text can be easier on us than watching videos.
- Instead of taking in so much over and over, you might find a focused way to support and know that you’re taking action. It helps me stay out of a vague “figuring it out” mode (as if I could figure it out).
- One of the best antidotes to empathy fatigue/heaviness is to balance it with self-compassion, which is available anytime. That way the vessel of you is getting filled up at the same time as giving. As I see it, it helps to create a flow of caring, instead of just one-way caring that can suck the well dry.
- When you can, allow in compassion from others too. Keep filling your cup.
But there’s so much to do…
I have to watch out for the inner voice that says, “But there’s so much to do…. There’s no time to stop.”
I am reminding myself and now you, that if we’re thinking there’s no time for compassion and breathing when others are hurting, we are at high risk of burnout and losing our ability to be there for others.
I remind myself over and over that it could simply start with taking 3 breaths. It is surprisingly helpful.
How I’m taking care…
I recently listened to a self-compassion loving-kindness guided meditation by Kristin Neff (a well-known expert on self-compassion), and found it quite restorative.
Then a little time in nature doubled the effect. I was so glad I paused to do these, after a period of going going, worrying worrying.
Having caring friends to turn to is also an essential ingredient for me.
Note to self: keep doing all of this.
Now that my cup is filled, I am sending you compassion too, keeping the flow going. Let’s keep filling those cups that could otherwise get depleted, and that leads no where good.
#compassion #secondhandtrauma #selfcompassion #copingwithnews