This post was written by Shannon Kaiser, International Empowerment Coach, retreat leader of Discover Your True Self and Live the Life You Were Made For, author of the forthcoming/new book Joy Seeker.
One of the most overlooked ways we become disconnected from our joy is by overextending ourselves. You’re probably a lot like me: You have a big heart, and you care deeply about those around you. You want to help and support those you love. Giving of your time, money, and energy is a beautiful thing, but sometimes we over-give at the expense of ourselves. If you find yourself over-giving and are experiencing compassion fatigue, these methods can help.
1. Set Boundaries
As Shonda Rhimes says in her book Year of Yes, “No is a complete sentence.” Learning how to say no and set personal boundaries can help you reclaim your power and feel more balanced.
2. Step Up Your Self-Care Routine
Self-care is not just drinking green juice and doing yoga daily. It can be your mental self-care routine, your physical, emotional, and spiritual routine, too. Look at each bucket of your life and create a self-care routine to help support the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual sides of you.
3. Connect with Your Inner Child
We all have hidden sources of energy and healing power, things we loved to do as a kid such as draw, paint, or play in nature. Do more of this as an adult and let yourself be in the beauty of the moment.
4. Pause in Your Pleasure
Nurture yourself by putting activities in your schedule that are sources of pleasure, joy, and diversion. Allow yourself to take mini-escapes. These relieve the intensity of your life and allow you to be present with your own true self. Focus on purpose and passion. When you identify the things that fuel you, the things that you have true passion for, your fatigue can disappear.
5. Find Ways to Acknowledge Your Own Unhealed Loss and Grief
As a big-hearted person, you may be helping others as a subconscious way to cope with your own loss and grief. Let yourself grieve and give yourself permission to feel all the feelings associated with loss. If you need to see a professional—a life coach or therapist—please seek this support as it can help heal the pain.
6. Practice Self-Compassion
To prevent or recover from compassion fatigue, take time for self-reflection, identify what’s important, and live in a way that reflects it. Be kind to yourself with kind words and nurturing activities.
7. Automatic Write
Sit down with your journal and ask a question, such as, What do I need right now? Or, What is the best way to care for myself? And let yourself write. Don’t edit, just let it flow. Do this for five to ten minutes a day to really establish a strong relationship with yourself and intuition.
This was inspired by Joy Seeker: Let Go of What's Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Were Made For by Shannon Kaiser, published by Citadel, an imprint of Kensington Press. Copyright 2019.
Shannon Kaiser is the bestselling author of five books on the psychology of happiness and fulfillment, including the #1 bestseller, The Self-Love Experiment and Adventures for Your Soul. As an international life coach, speaker and retreat leader, she helps people trust and believe in themselves so they can live their highest potential. She’s been named a top 100 Women to Watch in wellness by mindbodygreen and “your-go-to happiness booster” by Health magazine. She has also been recognized as a Must-Follow Instagram Account for Inspiration by Entrepreneur magazine and a Top Facebook Account for Daily Motivation by mindbodygreen. Visit her website at playwiththeworld.com and follow on social media @ShannonKaiserWrites.