We often hear that enjoy every moment of this beautiful life. Nobody will deny the fact that we want to enjoy! Yes! we want to be happy, always! Nobody loves stress. However, we have work pressures, deadlines, traffic, and noise, social media, and everyday changing technology.
Mindfulness practice has the answer to our search for bliss in the demanding life and tight hectic schedules!
What is Mindfulness?
Here are 6 easy steps to practice mindfulness in your day-to-day life!
When our mind is totally involved in the work we do, we really enjoy it. Our stress vanishes and that moment becomes a blissful memory.
1. Mindful Breathing
2. Practice Self-Care and Self-Love Mindfully
3. Accept and Heal Physical Pains Mindfully
4. Accept and Heal Wounds of The Mind, With The Power of The Mind
5. Build Strong Bond of Love in Your Relationships by Mindful Compassion
6. Enjoy Nature Mindfully
Continue the conversation in the 7 Cups of Tea support forum!
Written by 7 Cups of Tea Listener: CaringSmiles20
Much of the research on compassion fatigue and burnout has focused on counselors and first responders who work with trauma victims. But in recent years a lot of research has been focusing on volunteers in order to highlight the impact that care work may have on them.
What is Compassion Fatigue?
Compassion fatigue is similar to that burned-out feeling we are all too familiar with, that makes us feel sadness and despair to the extent it can impair our own health and well-being. It isn’t unusual in the spectrum of volunteering to find many people who become vulnerable to stress, which can interfere with their personal and professional lives and mental well-being, resulting in compassion fatigue.
This fatigue and burnout is often a result of people caring too much. Really dedicated volunteers can sometimes use so much of their own inner energy to go above and beyond, to make everything right, that it ends up affecting their health. Being in a helping role involves attending to the needs of others and being exposed to negativity and suffering. In addition to these external pressures, Volunteers may often have attitudes that increase susceptibility to burnout.
How Does Compassion Fatigue Impact Volunteers?
So, Compassion Fatigue explains how volunteers can be affected by regularly hearing, and bearing witness, to those who experience ongoing pain, loss, suffering and hardship. It gives us a framework for understanding how Volunteers may be impacted by the work they do and it also creates an understanding of the types of strategies that can be used to minimize the chance of developing it.
We also know that empathy is a double edge sword – it’s a tool to help you care for others, but it’s also what can lead to Compassion Fatigue. So it makes sense that being a Volunteer puts you at risk for developing fatigue and burnout.
What Are The Early Warning Signs That You May be Struggling with Compassion Fatigue?
In the early stages of burnout one will have less energy and will need to make more of an effort to deal with everyday pressures. One may be more negative, quick to anger, have a reduced sense of accomplishment, feel tired more often, become more withdrawn and experience increased interpersonal conflicts. One may also feel numb, disillusioned, hardened and overwhelmed. In extreme cases a Volunteer may even become preoccupied with someone’s story, suffering intrusive thoughts and helplessness.
4 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Think You May Be At Risk of Developing Compassion Fatigue:
If You Answered Yes To Any of The Above Questions, Here Are Some Areas You May Need To Work On:
Practicing Self-Care Can Help You To:
Why is Self-Care Important?
Self-care actually increases a volunteer’s capacity to care for others. Self-care, however, is not just about making healthy lifestyle choices - it is about being present with one’s feelings, sensations and intuitive guidance in order to detect what is best in any given moment.
In addition to making healthy lifestyle choices, self-care is about being true to oneself, being attuned to what is in your best interests and taking a proactive stance toward your needs and goals. Self-care is not about selfishness or being self-absorbed.
It is worth remembering that acknowledging the importance of self-care alone won’t enable you to take better care of yourself. It is important to address the obstacles that limit attention to self-care and perpetuate stress such as excessive expectations, perfectionism and having an exaggerated sense of responsibility. These obstacles lead to destructive survival strategies like people pleasing and unhealthy giving styles.
Remember, when you neglect self-care it takes a toll on your effectiveness as a helper, your health and your relationships.
Written by 7cups Listener and Mentor, Soulsurfer
We all know the golden rule: reciprocity. But what if we view others far more kindly than we view ourselves? Self-compassion — treating ourselves to the same compassion we hold for others — is one way to counter excessive self-criticism born from fragile self-esteem or perfectionist tendencies. Dr. Kristin Neff, a leading self-compassion researcher, offers a test to help you examine your self-compassion here.
How do you score? In what ways are you most self-compassionate, and where do you have room to be kinder to yourself? How might you practice treating yourself more fairly?
If you need a little help doing unto yourself as you would ‘do unto others,’ here are four ways to increase your self-compassion:
1. Treat yourself like you would a friend.
Imagine sitting next to yourself, striking up a heart-to-heart conversation and simply listening to your concerns. After listening to and accepting your thoughts and worries, try responding to them like you would for a loved one — what feedback would you give someone you cared about deeply? How does it differ from what you have told yourself in the past? Another way to try this: write yourself a letter about a problem in your life. Re-read it carefully, then write a compassionate response.
2. “Treat yo' self,” period.
Ask yourself, if a friend was feeling the way you do now, would you offer to take them to the beach, to the movies or an improv comedy show? Would you lend them a favorite book, offer them a cup of tea, bake them snickerdoodles or sticky buns? You deserve these affectionate gestures as well! They don’t have to come from someone else — why wait for someone else to treat you the way you would like to be treated, when you can jump-start that kindness yourself? If you are feeling lonely, you can invite a friend to join you. Not sure you have a companion who will help you vent? Treating yourself to a chat with a listener is another way to exercise self-compassion.
3. Look for case studies.
Feeling alone, embarrassed, or stuck? You are not alone! If you research your situation, you can read about, and even engage with, others who have faced similar scenarios and really ‘get it.’ Looking for a less involved way to work through your feelings and reflect on your situation? You could find a song or album that speaks to your feelings, take a relaxation break to listen to it, and consider sharing it with a friend or loved one to help them understand how you feel. See how many people you can relate to. You might be surprised by how much you have in common.
4. Don’t measure yourself against others.
It would not be kind to tell someone else, “She’s prettier than you,” “You’re weaker than him because he got over the breakup faster than you,” or, “If you’re smarter than her, you’ll win this debate.” Isn’t it equally unkind to send yourself these unnecessarily competitive messages? With respect and acceptance for yourself — where you’ve come from, where you are today, and where you’d like to go tomorrow — can you think of kinder, more realistic and productive messages to tell yourself?
By honoring yourself with the same understanding, generosity, fellowship and respect you would offer a friend — truly being your own best friend — you can break self-defeating cycles of negative thinking that hold you back day-to-day. Improving your self-compassion can give you the emotional support you need to lead a more courageous and fulfilling life.
Contribute to our conversation on self-compassion in the forum!
Written by 7 Cups Listener & Mentor: OliviaButler
Self-care is first and foremost mindset. It is a way of thinking and believing that enables one to continue to learn and grow in themselves. When done right and in a way that is appropriate and helpful to the individual, self-care can be incredibly effective in character development.
Through a conscious, proactive, self-designed self-care practice, you free yourself up to be creative, experiment and be emotionally fearless. It gives you the freedom to experiment in your life with an emotional cushion funded completely on your own, unrelated & untouched by anyone else.
At it’s core, self-care is self-love. Developing a loving and supportive relationship with yourself must be grounded in self-care. By this, we do not mean, be selfish or self-involved. Rather, use your knowledge of yourself to continually work to develop the best version of yourself.
I know we all face many challenges in our lives and as a result, self-care will mean something different for each of us.
Being proactive to take of yourself is something that feels slightly uncomfortable. Putting yourself first, at least part of the time, is important for developing a grounding belief system about yourself. A belief system that every day, reminds you that:
There are many situations in life which test our self-care, even for someone with a self-care regimen, you will always tested.
In our community, whether you are a listener or a member, self-care takes on a new meaning. In order to be your best self, put yourself in an emotional place in which you feel safe and comfortable to grow and learn, you must practice self-care. We challenge you all to think through your personal self-care. What does this mean to you? What are my beliefs about myself?
Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you develop a self-care practice:
Examples of self-care practices:
No matter where you are in your life's journey, a self-care practice should be part of your regular routine. The hardest part can be maintenance and keeping your self-care practice on track. If you want to talk about your self-care, our listeners are here to support you!
Written By: LauraS