Compassion Fatigue and COVID-19

The COVID-19 global pandemic is taking a physical, mental and emotional toll on doctors, nurses, healthcare workers and caregivers. The long work hours and limited resources are causing overwork, exhaustion and in some cases, compassion fatigue. Not to mention balancing your work with the concerns for your own family and loved ones.

What is compassion fatigue?

Compassion fatigue is a state of chronic physical and mental distress and exhaustion. People with this fatigue often describe a negative shift in their world view and a preoccupation with the illness of others. They may experience stress and burnout, affecting their ability to be effective in their jobs and relate to their loved ones and friends.

Tips for preventing compassion fatigue:

  • Make self-care a priority. Despite your workload, do your best to practice healthy habits. Focus on making sure you are staying hydrated, sleeping as much as possible, eating nutritious meals and getting exercise when you can. Follow the COVID-19 CDC guidelines on keeping yourself and your family’s risk low.
  • Boost your emotional resilience. Deep breathing, meditation, being grateful and allowing yourself some down time are ways to keep your life in balance, so you are better able to handle stress, setbacks and crises.
  • Get social support. Reaching out over the phone or through a text message to supportive loved ones, friends and colleagues can be a calming influence and shift your perspective on what you are dealing with every day.
  • Be proud of your profession. Your work is important. You are caring for people during the first-ever pandemic caused by a coronavirus and giving them hope and strength.
  • Seek professional help. If you are experiencing distress and/or symptoms of burnout, take advantage of your healthcare and employee assistance benefits and meet with a behavioral health professional who can help.

We wholeheartedly thank you for all you are doing to care for others and combat this outbreak.

For more information and tips, visit MagellanHealthcare.com/COVID-19.

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