Why am I Suddenly Feeling Burned Out?
If you think you are having burnout, it may be compassion fatigue you are experiencing instead. Many people are exposed to other individual’s traumatic events by caring for and helping them. You may feel less able to function in a job or role that you once enjoyed. You may notice more stress, irritability, or headaches. Empathy for other people may decrease. It’s a stress that comes from helping others who are hurting emotionally. These feeling can often come on suddenly.
There are many risk factors that can lead to compassion fatigue. You may have an idealistic worldview. You may lack personal boundaries and take on too much. In helping professions, you can also develop an increased sense of responsibility for others. While these aren’t negative traits, they can cause you to experience negative symptoms if supports are not in place to help you.
“The expectation that we can be immersed in suffering and loss daily and not be touched by it is as unrealistic as expecting to be able to walk through water without getting wet” (Remen, 2002). You are not alone in this. We can do something to both prevent compassion fatigue and help ourselves through it.
Take an honest self-assessment of your self-care. We often can let our jobs and others take priority over our self-care. Examine all aspects: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Make time for yourself in all these aspects and ensure that you have a strong support system. You could even join a support group. Most important of all make time to enjoy and find fun in each day.