How do you not become numb with your feelings over your career?
To not become numb with your feelings of compassion over your career as a first responder, it is important to check in with your own mental health and stay connected with your body. You can do this by talking it out, going to the gym, going for a walk, doing breathing exercises, meditation, and tapping into you and your body. It is also important to allow other people to support you when needed.
Transcript: "How do you not become numb with your feelings over your career? Compassion fatigue is super common in the first responder world. The first couple years it's really easy to kind of be strong for people and really hold space for them. But after a while your defense mechanisms kind of wear down. And on top of that, there's probably gonna be cases that you try to extend compassion and people are just not nice. So this really depends on the individual and making sure that you're checking in with your own mental health, making sure that you're staying connected with your body. I talk about this all the time. We get so overwhelmed that it's just easier to disconnect from ourselves, i.e. numbing out. Certainly this compartmentalization can be very effective while you're on shift. It's going to allow you to do your job and do it effectively and not crumble. But when you get home, you have got to process these things. You have got to decompress. You have got to allow your body to feel the effects of the stress and then release it. And if you're brave enough to start diving into this stuff, a lot of times we find that we are very good at intellectualizing our emotions and not actually feeling them. It's much safer to numb everything out and just try to explain it away. You cannot heal and process only in your mind. You have to let it cycle through your body. There are a lot of safe ways to do this. Sometimes just talking it out and letting yourself go through that is enough. Going to the gym, going for a walk, doing breathing exercises, meditation, tapping into you and your body, but ultimately just making sure that you're staying connected with yourself. And allowing other people to support you when needed."