With Seattle University following the Jesuit values, we strive to care for the whole person, and one of our values is care. We want to make sure you, as a supporter, are also caring for yourself- mentally, emotionally, and physically- as you take care of others.
Self-care can be generally defined as being a friend to yourself. Recognizing when you need a soft, gentle environment, when you need a break, when you need a treat, when you need some space, when you should pay special attention to your mind, body, and soul.
Ultimately, self-care should be the activities that strengthen you. Here are some of the ways that self-care manifests:
Self-soothing is a distraction. It isn't self-care. But, that doesn’t make it any less valid or necessary. Self-soothing activities will help to refill your empty soul’s cup and protect your personal energy
When you come home from a bad day at work, or you’ve had a fight with your partner, you’ll naturally crave comfort. This is usually in the form of warmth or pleasure such as:
As I mentioned, there is nothing wrong with these things, however, it’s the power behind them and what you’re trying to do for yourself that holds the power. Some of these can be over indulged and act as an escape from reality.
When you seek care you’re in need of self-respect, self-connection, and realignment. Examples of this may include:
These are just some of the things you can practice as self-care, and act as way to realign yourself when most needed.
Compassion fatigue is a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. This is often described as the negative cost of caring, and is sometimes referred to as secondary traumatic stress (STS). Compassion fatigue differs from burn out, but can co-exist.
Warning signs of compassion fatigue include, but are not limited to:
Ways to overcome compassion fatigue:
Cumulative process marked by emotional exhaustion and withdrawal associated with increased workload and institutional stress, NOT trauma-related. In other words, burn out is the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.
Signs and symptoms include:
What to do when you feel burn out:
A daily practice through which individuals, organizations, and societies tend to the hardship, pain, or trauma experienced by humans, other living beings, or our planet itself
Trauma Exposure Responses: