HECMA’s 5 for Friday


I recently read the guest blog by Hope Pacheco and I was in a word, inspired. I was reminded of the honor of the work and my passion for it. I have been a Case Manager for the last seven months and in Higher Education for fifteen (Residence Life) years. I know the stress and anxiety students experience BEFORE and during finals week. Or, I should say I thought I knew. I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared for the majority of the students on my caseload to decompensate. I wasn’t prepared for the number of NEW students added to my caseload in the last few weeks. And, I wasn’t prepared for the fatigue I have felt for the last month. I talk about compassion fatigue but wasn’t prepared when it happened to me.

Because of this, I asked the 5 for Friday be devoted to 5 ways HECMA members can practice self-care and fight compassion fatigue:

  1. Treat your body with compassion. Drink water, eat healthy (cheat a little), get enough sleep and exercise.
  2. Learn to say no effectively. This is something I am still working on. Check out this article from Family Practice Magazine -5 ways you can say no effectively.
  3. Work to create a support system for yourself-include yourself in that support system. Who listens to you? Who supports you? Use the network, talk to your colleagues, and reconnect with friends who add positive energy into your life. Be a support system for yourself by making lists of things that give you joy, make you laugh-find ways to include those things in your life. Take mini escapes-eat lunch somewhere other than your desk, take mini walks, be a tourist in your own city.
  4. Recharge through mindfulness activities-meditation, yoga, coloring in adult coloring books or mandalas. Finally, get an app for that! There are free mindfulness apps at http://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-apps-worthy-of-your-attention/#.
  5. Check out the Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project at http://www.compassionfatigue.org/. This website has information about how to recognize compassion fatigue, resources to fight compassion fatigue and suggested readings and other resources for self-care.

Contributed by:

Angie Kneflin
Care Manager Coordinator, Dean of Students
Xavier University