How to Combat Compassion Fatigue

If you’re in an emotionally heady professional field, such as an EMT, a teacher, or a mom with several emotionally needy souls constantly hanging on your ankles all day long, chances are you’re going to feel emotionally exhausted sooner or later.  This phenomenon — known as compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, or secondary traumatization — is extremely common. If you’re familiar with the feeling, feel free to read on in order to understand a bit more about this tricky emotional battle along with a few suggestions on how to manage things when it creeps into the picture.  What is Compassion Fatigue? It may sound cliche, but sometimes the most concise, effective definitions come straight out of the dictionary. Merriam Webster defines “compassion fatigue” in one of two ways. Medically, it is the emotional withdrawal, accompanied by mental and physical exhaustion, that takes place when someone cares for sick or traumatized people…

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Why I love Simply Earth Essential Oils

I’ve written about my love of essential oils many times before on the blog. Today I’m going to talk about Simply Earth Essential Oils and why I have a total crush on them. Let me give you a code first first! If you decide to purchase a subscription to their monthly recipe box, use the code DOMINEEFREE to get a $40 gift card with your purchase. You’ll also get a free “Bonus Box” which will have goodies we’ll talk about later! Simply Earth sent me their March Essential Oil Recipe Box in exchange for an honest review. So here you go: I love them. I love them A LOT. I used to buy my essential oils from my favorite metaphysical shop here in town, but when they closed I started just buying them from the grocery store because I’m cheap (I admit it). I thought about signing up for DoTerra…

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Self-Care for Sensory Overload

Growing up with a younger brother on the autism spectrum, I was no stranger to sensory overload. He still (even to this day) can’t wear certain fabrics like denim, can’t eat certain foods, and is sensitive to sounds and colors. I remember how, when he was younger, we’d wrap him in a blanket (much like swaddling) and we’d make a game of it, pretending that he was a hotdog and we’d name all of the things we were gonna put on him. Being wrapped up like that instantly calmed him down. We learned what a sensory overload meltdown looked like and how to help him feel better. In my teens, I developed anxiety and I was constantly overwhelmed by so many things. Especially in public places with lots of sounds. As an adult, my anxiety was worse. There were days when I was so anxious I felt like I was…

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Healthy Love vs. Unhealthy Love

As Valentine’s Day approaches it gives everyone a chance to re-evaluate their relationships. I wanted to showcase what healthy relationships look like and also what unhealthy ones look like. No one’s perfect and you might fall into unhealthy behaviors at times but it’s so important that your relationship be more healthy than unhealthy. I’m very aware of what unhealthy relationships look like. In my first relationship, we both did and said completely loathsome things to one another. It was 100% toxic and full of lies and manipulation. (On both sides) My second relationship was controlling and very off and on (on both sides). In my third relationship, I was the problem. I was jealous, controlling, manipulative, extremely up and down, and verbally abusive while they were patient, kind, non-reactive, and understanding – at least until the point that they couldn’t take my verbal abuse any longer and they created a…

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Intrusive Thoughts and Obsessive Thought Loops

What’s an intrusive thought? An intrusive thought is an unwelcome involuntary thought, image, or unpleasant idea that may become an obsession, is upsetting or distressing, and can feel difficult to manage or eliminate.* We all have intrusive thoughts, although it’s something we don’t talk about because of embarrassment, shame, and well, guilt. They range from things like wanting to break everything when you’re walking by the dishes in Target, thinking you have a deadly disease because your stomach hurts, or replaying an event in your head over and over again. There are darker intrusive thoughts too. Thoughts like hurting the people you care about, even your kids, or going over a bridge and wanting to drive your car off of it – can you believe that those thoughts are normal and lots of people have them? Seriously! Brains are weird. Most people have those fleeting thoughts, and that’s all they are – fleeting.…

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Self-Love Journaling Prompts for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! Regardless of your romantic status it can be a difficult day. I really really want to encourage you to have a wonderful day, even if it’s only because you’re being super kind and loving toward yourself. How do you feel about Valentine’s Day? Are you looking forward to it? Dreading it? Completely ambivalent towards it? First I want you to check out the completely free and utterly awesome Be Your Own Valentine ebook (it will be sent out on February 13th!). It’s full of ideas to help you celebrate in a way that nourishes you. This will be my first ever Valentine’s Day where I’m head-over-heels in love. And let’s not forget that I’m 33. I’ve spent my fair share of Valentine’s Day single and lonely, in a relationship and lonely, and generally miserable. Until I changed my mindset. I am an eternal optimist, even…

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56 Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

In case you didn’t know, I created Random Acts of Kindness Cards (the printable ones are part of the Self-Love Bundle which has soooo much good stuff!) You can hand out these cute little cards to tell people thank you, to brighten their day, or just as an act of kindness! It’s so important to be kind, especially in a world of social media where we can so easily see all of the things that are going on around the world. The world needs a little more light and a little more glow. Several years ago, after I started practicing self-care, I realized that it gave me the ability to not only be kind to myself but to be kind to others as well. Up to that point, I was always running on fumes. It was hard enough to take care of myself on a daily basis, let alone find…

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Self-Love Languages, What’s Yours?

The 5 Love Languages is a book by Gary Chapman that explores how everyone has a preferred way to receive love from other people. Some people feel love from getting gifts, others from words, others from actions. When my love and I first started dating, I asked her what her love language was and she didn’t know. When she took the test and figured out what it was it was a great way for she and I to connect. Sometimes it’s difficult to put into words what you need (especially if you’re a people pleaser or not used to having your needs met.) Having a general category of “these are the things that make me feel loved” really helped us connect to each other, especially because our love languages are completely different! I wanted to explore how we can turn those ideas to ourselves with self-love languages. We all need…

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Self-Care for Loneliness

Before I met my current love, I lived alone for 12 years. I get loneliness (if you do too, check out my Self-Love Workbook). I understand it way down in my bones. Part of my (social) anxiety (and depression!) is my tendency to isolate myself. Before I discovered self-love this was a crippling combination because I didn’t understand it. Instead of realizing that I was often alone because of that tendency to isolate myself – I blamed it on my un-lovableness and my brokenness. Which deepened my sense of loneliness because it didn’t feel like something that could be fixed. It felt like I had this undeniable character flaw. Can you imagine walking around and feeling like the reason you’re lonely is that you’re just a broken human being with a sucky personality? That’s a self-esteem booster, let me tell you. I can’t even count the number of times I…

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The Power of Inner Peace (And Everyday Ways to Achieve It)

In today’s increasingly frantic and fast-paced world, it’s getting harder to turn the volume down. We’re more connected to the world around us than ever, and that can be equal parts blessing and curse. It’s great to be connected with the people who are close to us (especially for a socially anxious introvert like me!). I love being able to see the latest news from all over the world via a few dabs at a touchscreen but when I’m anxious or sad I’ve learned that I have to create boundaries. Being constantly connected can add stress, anxiety, and sensory overload and letting all of that get to us takes us away from all of the amazing things that are happening in our lives.. It’s a fine balance between connection and stepping away so that you can experience the things (and people) around you.  The power of inner peace When the…

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