I know more people suffer from Compassion Fatigue than care to admit. Especially during the holidays. It affects many people. Caretakers, healers, and moms cannot help but be affected. I too have felt worn out and tired, like I have nothing left to give. I have also heard it called Secondary PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) or Secondary Trauma. I think many of us in the care-taking, teaching, or healing profession forget to take our own advice. As a caretaker, teacher, or healer, you are a mother to many.
Most mothers have a tendency to put themselves last. Like I tell my clients, we can’t run on empty. You wouldn’t drive your car on empty. You have to fill it up every week, yet we run ourselves dry, until we are depleted and worn out. We take better care of our cars than we do of ourselves. It is bound to take its toll after awhile. I have to remember what I tell my clients. Self care is not optional. It is essential.
So the next time you are feeling defeated, like you just want stay in bed and watch Netflix all day. Ask yourself. When is the last time I did some self care? When is the last time I did something for myself? When is the last time I loved myself enough to do something about it? Don’t wait until you have worn out your wings. I know you serve the world on a daily basis. Just take an hour a week, just take twenty minutes. Instead of saying “I don’t have time”, try saying “I’m not a priority”. How does that feel? I know I would rather feel like a priority.
We cannot keep running our bodies into the ground. Our bodies were meant to carry our beautiful souls. Yet most of us use our souls to drag our body around. Take better care of yourself than you do your car! Get a massage, get a pedicure, color! Go out to lunch with a friend, blow some bubbles, or take a bubble bath. There are so many little things you can do. It doesn’t have to be something big. I think just setting the intention that you are doing self care, that you are doing something loving for yourself, will do a world of good. It is not selfish, it is necessary. Just like they say on the airplane, you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first.
If you keep flying on broken worn out wings you will have nothing left. And if you have nothing left to give, how will you help others? Instead of constantly pouring from your own cup, fill yourself up so much that you are overflowing. Stop running on empty. If you take care of yourself you will have so much more to give. Your family, your friends, your clients, and your children will be grateful. This doesn’t just apply to caretakers, teachers, healers, and moms. It applies to each and every one of us.