How to Fill Your Cup When You Work with Domestic Violence Survivors

RAFT Team, January 25, 2021

You’ve been on a long hot walk before. Maybe you didn’t anticipate the heat, the length of the walk, or that you’d be gone so long. But I’ll bet you DO remember the ice cold drink when you returned. You probably thought about it all the way back, your throat drying up more with every hot, sweaty step. Whether it was a frosty bottle of water from the vending machine, a long slurp from the water fountain, or a cool glass straight from the kitchen sink, odds are it was probably one of the very best drinks you’ve ever had. You couldn't wait to fill your cup.

Your body needs water to survive. Most studies say you can survive about 3 days without it. Our body gives signs along the way to let you know it's begging for water. The symptoms are mild at first then gradually more and more serious as your body struggles to survive. At first, you’d get thirsty. Then you’d feel sluggish and might get a headache. You’d experience stiff joints, swelling of your brain, and maybe even seizures. But you don’t get dehydrated too often because you know the dangers. It’s easy to drink water.

Drinking water to avoid dehydration works like self-care to ease compassion fatigue

But we're more than just physical beings. We're emotional and spiritual, too. Which means we're also susceptible to a dried up heart and soul.

Experts call this compassion fatigue and burnout. These repercussions hit just as hard and can be just as serious as physical dehydration. Which is why it's just as vital that you fill your internal cup so you’re functioning from the overflow of compassion and joy rather than the dry dust at the bottom of the barrel. 

What are the signs of compassion fatigue?

Some of the symptoms of compassion fatigue are quite similar to dehydration. Your passion begins to dry up and you don’t want to give as much. You get headaches from stress. Pretty soon the emotional fallout affects your physical body more and more seriously. You’re exhausted, but you can’t seem to get out of the downward spiral. Even though you can’t take a long swig of H2O to solve the problem, there’s a way back. Self-care is your water. 

Self-care is vital to fight compassion fatigue and burnout

Below are some resources to help you drink a little self-care throughout your week so you wake up refreshed and you’re excited about working with your clients.

Take Care of YOU

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How to Build 5 Healthy Habits in the Middle of Chaos Feeling lost in the chaos? Learn how to build 5 healthy habits that will help you navigate chaos and find your way to more peace.

PODCAST: A Self-Empathy Meditation Often, in life, you will find yourself stuck between two versions of yourself: the "you" that wants peace and satisfaction doing the best you can, and the "you" that is crazily trying to do everything for everyone. In this episode Indrani will lead you through a short meditation to help you become a compassionate witness to your own self and your own energy.

Find a Creative Outlet

25 Ways to Boost Creativity That Take 5 Minutes or Less Learn the many benefits of creativity (spoiler: less stress and better health) and 25 quicks ways to boost creativity in just five minutes a day.

5 Steps to Saying Yes to the Things You Love Many people have an aversion to boundaries. They’re hard to determine, all about “no,” and difficult to enforce. Today we’d like to flip that thinking on its head.

PODCAST: Using Life-Story Writing to Build Resilience In this episode, RAFT invites Stacy Brookman, a resilience and life story expert, to share a new resiliency tool for advocates.

Finding a creative outlet can help fill your cup as a DV advocate copy

Practice Gratitude

How a Gratitude Practice Can Build Resilience Learn the benefits of a gratitude practice and how it leads to resilience. Discover a variety of ways in which to begin your own practice.

5 Ways Gratitude Makes You a Better Leader Gratitude is a powerful skill to learn. But did you know gratitude makes you a better leader as well? Learn 5 ways it increases your impact.

Bolster Your Relationships 

How to Become a Family that Supports One Another A family that supports one another builds stronger relationships. Learn how to make your home a safe haven for all who live there.

How to Build a Family Gratitude Practice Gratitude can boost your health and reduce stress. It can also help you bond. Learn simple ways to start a family gratitude practice.

4 Tools to Keep Your Relationships Healthy The ones you love the most are often the ones who suffer because you trust them to understand. Learn how to bolster these relationships.

Building a family gratitude practice can help fill your cup as a DV advocate copy2

Each and every time you embark on one of these ideas, you fill your cup. If you've been dehydrated emotionally or spiritually for a while, it may take time to get your fluids back up. Just keep filling your cup. Every single drop makes a difference in your overall health and wellness.