Compassion Fatigue and the Holidays

So it’s the holidays and you’ve been giving and giving and giving. Now all the charities seem to be out there asking for more and more and more. After all, people are supposed to be in the mood to give right?

Of course everyone is busier. So are you. So are the people you often rely on for support. Now fewer have time to do their shifts. Perhaps you are taking on more. Maybe not because maybe other people in your life are asking for more.

At any rate, it seems like there is just as much if not more work to be done and fewer people and fewer dollars to do it. Those who aren’t giving money to the other charities have gifts to buy and extra food and of course there might be some extra travel expenses.

So there you are, tired, worn out and you feel as if you have to give even more. Stop. It’s not up to just you. It’s hard to set boundaries at any time and seems even harder this time of year, but it’s all the more important to do so. You are part of a bigger web of animal lovers and rescuers. You play your role and do your part. And when you can’t take on the work of four other people, remind yourself that perhaps others need to step up. Yes, they are busy too. But if the idea of having to take on even more makes you feel like you want to curl up and cry, then you need to pause and take care of yourself.

Do something special for yourself, just for you, something that is fun. Let yourself receive something this season rather than just giving. Oddly, for many givers, of which most rescuers are, receiving is harder than giving. Let yourself feel the discomfort of really receiving a gift from someone and notice what that does. That’s a reminder you don’t let yourself receive often enough. However, in order to give you have to receive. You can’t give on empty. Take a breath. Receive the energy of that breath and then breath out, your gift back to the world.

The holidays are often exhausting. Remember to pause and take care of yourself. Remember you can’t give to everyone who asks. Set your priorities and take on those tasks that feed your soul the most.


  1. Well said! This is something we all need to be reminded of.

    Have a wonderful Thursday!

  2. Oh, this is so important for people to hear. The holidays are so full of expectations, and the pressure is really on for everyone. Sometimes you don’t realize how much impact it has outside of just making cookies and licking stamps, so thanks for the great reminder!

  3. Great post. If everyone read this and made sure to do as you say, there would be a lot less stressed out people in the world.

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