The brain has a negativity bias so it’s particularly important that we gauge our emotional reservoir and how we're feeling - prior to exposing ourselves vicariously to potentially traumatising information.
It’s also important to consider the way we obtain the information. I was talking with a peer last week, who is also a therapist, and they explained that they'd had a nightmare after watching the news before they went to bed, which showed casualties.
This highlighted for me that if there were lasting and visceral effects on a mental health professional with decades of clinical experience and emotional resilience, the effects on you may be profound as well.
To reduce your risk of compassion fatigue, consider reading news articles instead of watching live news footage. Limit how much news about war, for example, you take in. My personal limit is twice a day, once in the morning after my self-care regimen and once after my work day.
Consider doing something for yourself each day that’s lighthearted, charging or goofy. That could be spending time in nature where you mindfully notice the intricacies of a leaf, sending your bff funny memes or grooving to some upbeat music.
Whatever your self-care routine is - do something just for you that tops up your reservoir!
Very best wishes,
Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.