Permission for a Summer Vacation
By Sharyn Fein, Executive Director
Have you ever returned from summer vacation feeling like you need another vacation to recover? It’s not uncommon for “taking a break” to be more stressful than everyday life. Vacations can be a wonderful respite from the work trauma that often causes compassion fatigue, as long as there is room and space for adequate rest.
It can be hard for some to take a break. Many of us feel guilty; particularly family caregivers, who are often the primary, 24/7 source of care for their loved ones. The truth is that without self-compassion, there is only a finite amount of compassion a person can freely give. So, while it doesn’t need to be a grand trip vacation, a break is absolutely worth it and necessary.
It’s not only sunshine and a change of scenery that can make a difference in a caregiver’s wellbeing. As this wonderful article explains, “It is vitally important that you take breaks from trauma… When you are planning your vacation this summer please keep in mind the concept of limiting your trauma input.” Don’t underestimate the power and gift of a clear mind. Leave the guilt and stress on the ground at home. If you still need it, it will be there for you when you return. But you may find that in your absence it has moved on and walked away.