Compassion Fatigue

Refuel and Recharge

What is compassion fatigue?

Compassion fatigue is a state of distress and emotional discomfort frequently experienced by caregivers who spend all of their energy caring for others while neglecting self-care. It is often described as reaching a point where one is "too tired to care." Caregivers who are passionate and emotionally involved are typically the most helpful and effect the most change for individuals in need. However, they are also the most at risk for compassion fatigue.

Signs and Symptoms

Isolation from others

Easily distracted

Decreased engagement in hobbies

Frequent/Chronic illnesses

Increased alcohol use

Changes in sleep

Loss of humor


Blaming others

Substance use

Increased complaining

Poor diet

Poor hygiene/appearance

Lack of pleasure

Negative mood

Decreased sexual activity

Pessimistic attitude

Apathy and sadness

Self-care is a term used to describe activities to care for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Practicing self-care can help to reduce stress and prepare your mind and body for the difficulties that caregivers encounter on a daily basis. Self-care allows caregivers to refuel and recharge so that they have the ability to give care, compassion, and support to individuals in need.

Self-Care Activities

Go for a walk

Listen to music

Take a nap

Enjoy a bath

Eat a healthy snack

Deep breating

Go to lunch with a friend


Read a book

Write in a Journal

Minute meditations


Make a gratitude list

Take a 5-minute mental vacation



Creative hobbies

Go to the movies

Spend time with family

Talk to friends

Try a new hobby

In addition to this brief list, HISD employees and their families can also benefit from the Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-855-574-HISD (4473).