Do you have compassion fatigue?
Being compassionate can be exhausting. When you care so deeply about so many things it is easy to become overwhelmed or just doggone pooped!
Especially when you care so much about something that others don’t understand or make light of. This doesn’t mean that we need to dial back the care factor or suffer from compassion fatigue.
When I talk about compassion fatigue in this sense I am referring to when you are plain tired, emotionally drained from caring so much and physically beat from any ‘active work’ you participate in for the cause. You are exhausted, snappy and unusually angry.
I certainly suffer from it at times. My heart aches every time I see a picture of a hunter lording it up over their victim, I sob when I read of cruelty cases and I am overwhelmed when I think of how vast and widespread animal abuse and cruelty is. It’s endemic and so ingrained in our society that people don’t even bat an eyelid about it. The magnitude of it alone makes me want to curl into a little ball and sleep for a month.
I know it is creeping up on me when I notice that I am unusually snappy when my eating habits are questioned. My normal approach is to answer questions and take the time to explain my choices to people in the hopes that they will then too think of veganism in a positive way and perhaps even seek our further information.
So what do it do to re-energise myself and come back round to reality?
- Play with my dogs. Knowing that they are happy and loved reminds me that there are many more animals out there living wonderful lives with other caring and compassionate people (or ideally out in the wild. In their natural habitat safe and sound.)
- Get out into nature. Fresh air helps ground me and get things into perspective.
- Jump on instagram and look at some of the accounts of my favourite sanctuaries and vegan lovelies. Seeing how much people are doing to change the world reminds me that I am not alone. We are all in this together.
- Remind myself that each person who asks me a question comes an opportunity to give my perspective. If just one person makes kinder choices because of me, I have changed the world.
Animal welfare is too big and important an issue for me to not be at my best. At my best I am positive, energetic, kind (even to people), happy and non judgmental.
While there is a lot to do, remember there are a lot of people who are working alongside you. You are not alone. Be kind to yourself as well and take the time you need to decompress so that you can also be at your best.