Juggling work and caregiving: five strategies to reduce compassion fatigue

Juggling work and caregiving: five strategies to reduce compassion fatigue

Many CPAs find themselves, sometimes quite unexpectedly, in the position of juggling multiple roles, having to meet professional responsibilities while simultaneously caring for aging parents, children, or other family members. In a helpful article published in “The Family Caregiver,” Francoise Mathieu relates five key strategies for reducing the fatigue caregivers often feel. Those strategies have been summarized below; to read the full article, visit The Family Caregiver Newsmagazine.

Francoise is the keynote speaker for the first sessions of the CPA Assist Speaker Series, taking place on March 2 in Calgary and March 3 in Edmonton. For more information and to register for the event, visit http://www.cpaalberta.ca/Events/CPA-Alberta-Events/CPA-Assist-Speaker-Series.

  1. Pay attention to your warning signs – many family caregivers put their own needs last and often ignore their own physical signs of stress. Determine the physical symptoms that are your early signs of stress, and pay attention when they hit. When they occur, make an immediate effort to reduce stressors.
  2. Beware of self-medication – “self-medication” can refer to any way in which individuals numb themselves when they feel overwhelmed. While you shouldn’t eliminate these “guilty pleasures” entirely—unless you are dealing with an addiction—ensure you are not relying too heavily on them to avoid dealing with difficult situations.
  3. Let others know how you are feeling – In the article, Francoise reiterates the important point that, if you do not tell others how you are feeling, you cannot expect them to help or understand. Communicating, in a non-blaming fashion, is the key, and developing a support system is vital.
  4. Establish what you have control over – caregiving situations are often complex and unpredictable. Focus on those elements and moments that you do have control over, and determine the best way to use that time or approach those situations.
  5. Ask for help/Accept offers of help – it can be uncomfortable to seek help. However, in many cases it is essential. It may be easiest to start with small requests; regardless, remember that many of those in your network are likely eager to help out.

For more information and assistance on this issue, be sure to attend Francoise’s address at the CPA Assist Speaker Series.

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