Fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors and many types of fatigue exist - from adrenal fatigue, stress fatigue, emotional fatigue, to mental fatigue and so on. Fatigue can also being considered a disease. Funding for the study of chronic fatigue syndrome could reach $12 million in 2017, says NPR.
While the disease and the physical aspect of fatigue can be left for the medical professionals, there are some types of fatigue that can be addressed by making small changes to your perspective or the way you handle daily activities.
One type of tricky fatigue to watch for as the holidays approach this year, is compassion fatigue.
According to Susan Whitbourne PhD from Psychology Today,
Psychologists use the term compassion fatigue to capture this feeling of burnout. Though used typically to describe professional helpers, it can also occur among people who offer continued informal support to others in need. Adding to the overall emotional drain of the situation is the guilt you overlay on top of the fatigue because you think you should be doing more.
Compassion fatigue is a precursor to feelings of guilt. The reason this type of fatigue can be tricky is because it starts with the intention of compassion, which is positive and can be fulfilling. Too much compassion, where you lose out on taking care of yourself in the process, can lead to fatigue and other feelings of guilt, resentment and, possibly, anger. In this case, too much of a good thing can be bad. There are so many ways this type of fatigue can show up in the workplace and in your personal life.
As the end of the year approaches and you take account for what your contributions were this past year, you may start to feel that you haven't done enough and try to contribute beyond your capacity just at the tail end of the year to compensate. Juggling the holidays with work life and family life can take a toll on you, leaving you feeling like you are there for everyone around you, but yourself.
Compassion fatigue can trick you into over extending yourself and leave you feeling drained and guilty. It can be tricky because you may feel a sense of worth, initially, by showing up for others, giving and connecting. Take a moment to be cognizant about taking care of yourself too this holiday season.