News of the “great resignation” has sparked a renewed interest in retention strategies across all industries. The impact of this mass exodus has been felt by the human service sector. But let’s face it, this is not a new problem for social service industries. Child welfare, for example, has experienced high turnover, averaging 20-40 percent, … Continue reading Could the “Great Resignation” Transform the Human Service Industry?
I have blogged about the benefits of gratitude before, but since it is National Gratitude Month, I would like to take a deeper dive into the topic. I am sure you have heard that practicing gratitude has a myriad of positive effects. Research has revealed that gratitude benefits us in four spheres of wellbeing. Physically: … Continue reading Practicing Gratitude to Build Emotional Resilience
Why they are just as important as Self-care The notion of “self-care” has been a popular response to compassion fatigue and burn-out. As I wrote in my previous blog, promoting self-care alone can be problematic. I proposed that maybe we should be focused more on “compassionate connections.” I wanted to follow-up on that thought. In … Continue reading Compassionate Connections
You might not be alone. The other day, while connecting with old friends, someone mentioned “self-care.” My friend, a middle-school teacher, indicated with a tone of exasperation that she was “so tired of hearing about self-care.” She went on to tell us that she is bombarded with emails from her school about how they should … Continue reading Are you getting tired of hearing about self-care?
As the events of 2020 have turned our attention to helping professionals, compassion fatigue awareness is on the rise. In my book, The Compassion Fatigued Organization: Restoring Compassion to Helping Professionals, I examine the mindsets and response patterns that can lead to compassion fatigue in the individual. But compassion fatigue is not just a problem … Continue reading Do Helping Organizations Experience Compassion Fatigue?
How does the pandemic impact helping professionals? Compassion fatigue is hardly a new phenomenon. Helping professionals have long experienced the impact of chronic exposure to secondary trauma and stress associated with their work. But circumstances created with the Covid-19 pandemic could be challenging compassionate helpers on a whole new level. Compassion fatigue impacts those in … Continue reading Compassion Fatigue and Covid
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CEFHTwpNUk There is no doubt there has been plenty of reason for anxiety in the last few weeks. Though some have responded with panic and greed, it warms my heart to hear of the many acts of compassion happening in our communities. People are sewing masks for health care providers or going out of their … Continue reading Did you know that compassion can relieve stress?
I have written before about the many benefits of social connecting. I refer to it as a super resiliency! From a neurological standpoint, we are all wired to connect to both survive and thrive. Connecting to each other improves our physical well-being. We now have much research evidence to show that social connectivity leads to … Continue reading 6 Ways to Practice Social Connecting While Social Distancing
Have you ever wondered why life seems so much more manageable for some people than others, even when their circumstances are similar? Let’s face it, life is rarely as easy as we would like it to be and coping with life’s ups and downs requires a fair amount of resiliency. So, how do you develop … Continue reading 8 Ways to Develop Resiliency
Self-awareness is a core skill set of any successful leader. Frankly, it is a core skill set for all compassionate human beings. Among other things, awareness begins by knowing our brain and recognizing our vulnerability to get stuck in the trappings of our own mind. Thus, removing barriers to manage relationships and make better … Continue reading Understanding Mind Traps
Anyone who has ever worked for a human service organization, has witnessed a steady stream of new initiatives that seem destined to fail before they ever get off the ground. We have all seen the eye rolls and heard the groans of skeptical employees thinking “here we go again.” I once worked with an organization … Continue reading Why Good Initiatives Fail
Relationships are a fundamental part of being human. We are wired to connect with each other as a source of both healing and survival. With every relationship, personal or professional, comes the need for boundaries. Boundaries are the invisible lines that keep us physically and emotionally safe while effectively functioning. They govern what we are … Continue reading Boundaries: What are they and why do we need them?
This past month, CNN reported on an Uber internal memo acknowledging that their special investigative unit is beginning to suffer the impact of investigating everything from assaults, threats and other traumatic incidents. In the social service world, we call this “Compassion Fatigue” or secondary traumatic stress. It occurs in high stress occupations that involve exposure … Continue reading Compassion Fatigue is not just a Social Service Problem
In the human service arena, organizations are getting better at recognizing the need to encourage self-care for their employees. Indeed, taking care of oneself is an essential element in combatting compassion fatigue. Those that suffer from chronic exposure to stress and secondary trauma are left exhausted and can feel a need to shut out the … Continue reading Numbing is Not Self-Care
In my work with human service organizations, compassion fatigue is one of the most requested training or consultation topic. I have found that organizations are getting better at recognizing the need for self-care. However, most efforts lack a true understanding of what compassion fatigue is and how to best combat it, both individually and within … Continue reading Cultivating Compassion to Combat Compassion Fatigue
In today’s world of social media, political polarization, and “fake news,” truth and reality can sometimes seem like slippery concepts. They remain, however, no less essential in solving problems, making sound decisions and otherwise safely navigating life. What is Truth? Philosophers and wordsmiths have long wrestled with the distinction between truth and reality. It all … Continue reading Truth, Reality and Decision-Making
Resiliencies are the skill sets and mindsets needed to successfully navigate the challenges of life. They can be cultivated and learned throughout a lifetime. But, before we learn anything, our brain is already wired for survival. Our automatic response system is designed to promote life sustaining activities. When the brain detects a threat, it sends … Continue reading Why Social Connectivity is a Super Resiliency
I’m not sure who said it first, but I always liked the saying “Never make a permanent decision based on temporary feelings.” This seems like opposite advice to adages like “trust your gut,” or “follow your heart.” I would never suggest ignoring our emotions when it comes to decision making. I do think it is … Continue reading Should I Trust My Gut?
While at the beach the other day, I noticed a young boy trying to move his beach umbrella. As he lifted it from the sand, a gust of wind tuned it inside out. He struggled to close it against the wind for some time. Suddenly, he stopped as if an idea had occurred to him. The … Continue reading 4 Ways to Practice Flexible Thinking When Problem Solving
In a world where we are bombarded with quick bites of information with questionable validity, the need for critical thinking is more important than ever. However, our brain is designed to make quick decisions with a limited amount of information through the processes of assimilation and generalization. This enables us to learn and adapt quicker … Continue reading 7 Ways to Improve Critical Thinking and Challenge Brain Bias