This World is Exhausting, Don't Let it Exhaust You: Setting Emotional Boundaries to Prevent Fatigue   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Document: "Are you exhausted from everything currently happening in the U.S. and the world? Me too. You've likely heard that I/You/We need to be more compassionate, more caring, and more empathetic, especially in the time of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] and recent police murder of George Floyd. Compassion and empathy are pushed in the mainstream wellness culture, but they are rarely discussed in a practical and realistic way. For example, upon hearing or reading the word 'compassion,' you may be able to loosely describe the concept, its benefits, why it's important, and simple ways to cultivate it. But what happens when you've shown so much compassion and empathy towards others that you're left feeling irritable, exhausted, and maybe even resentful? This can be known as compassion/empathy fatigue. Let me be clear: 'compassion and empathy are not the problem'. [...] The problem stems from how the information is communicated. If we only see sources that rave about emotional intelligence and how it can make us feel better and be healthier, wouldn't you want to practice it 'all the time'? This notion can easily lead to emotional fatigue and burnout. If you're constantly putting others' emotional needs before your own but think this is what you're supposed to do to be a compassionate/empathetic person, then you might feel confused, frustrated, exhausted, and resentful. Below I review the difference between compassion and empathy and how to set personal boundaries to prevent emotional exhaustion."

Report Number:
Lerner Center Issue Brief No. 28
Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion
Retrieved From:
Syracuse University Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion: https://lernercenter.syr.edu/
Media Type:
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