Sometimes I suck at self-care. I know the basics, and I've watched my wonderful wife the outreach worker do seminars on preventing compassion fatigue several times (she'll be presenting again on the basic skills we can all use as advocates later in October - stay tuned!). But on days like this, after working a full 9 hour day and walking away for dinner and hang time with family, I sit down to check a few things on the computer, and suddenly it's midnight and I'm arguing about coyote co-existence.
One of the tips I've received, in professional therapeutic sessions when getting treatment for my anxiety disorder, from my wife, and from other advocates, is walking away. Sometimes that may mean a sabbatical from advocacy or specific issues; sometimes it means taking a long weekend to camp or go on a staycation with my XBox and the dogs; and, times like tonight, it means recognizing no matter how long I spend trying to win an argument on the Internet, I won't, and it will do more harm to the animals in the long-run by making me less effective mentally, physically, and emotionally, as an advocate.
Good night, friends and listeners, and I hope, if you're comfortable, will share what you do to decompress or shake off compassion fatigue and stay strong, for yourself and for the animals!
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