Finding Balance Amidst Global Turmoil: Navigating Compassion Fatigue

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While some of us have the privilege of safety, seeing constant news and images of destruction and chaos around the world can create what experts call “second-hand trauma” and can build up deep emotional or compassion fatigue over time.

The reality is that we are all deeply connected and despite us being miles away, the pain and suffering can be felt beyond borders. We may not be able to change the situation but activism and compassion can still be practiced just by being.

If you have been feeling exhausted, this is normal. As humans, we – some more than others – have an innate ability to empathise with others. Even if we’re physically safe and just looking at the deterioration of the world, it can create heightened anxiety and distress. When compassion or emotional fatigue runs high, you’ll notice that some of us may choose to become more “ignorant” or avoidant, “dissociated” or have intense feelings of guilt with the inability to help.

Here are some coping strategies shared by our therapists:

  • Limit exposure to distressing news. Stay informed but limit time on certain types of media. This is all part of self-regulation.
  • Set realistic expectations that you alone cannot change the situation but you can focus on the things that impact your life, and your immediate community. Think Global, Act Local
  • Pay attention to your body cues of distress and dissociation (heart palpitations, body tension, and numbing activities like binge eating, watching, or drinking)
  • When overwhelmed, turn to your friends and family for comfort or practice grounding and relaxation techniques to find a sense of balance
  • Maintain your daily activities and routine that help you stay grounded, focus on your own cup, and pour it back into the community you have the most impact with
  • Work hard at being a frequency holder and focus on radiating love and compassion through presence and being. After all, we are all connected.


If you are needing support, please reach out to anyone in our team. If you’re not sure which help is right for you, book a discovery call with our therapist.