I see this a lot in our communities as well. Again, empathy when dealing with an individual child, or supporting a loved one with a mental health struggle is great, but trying to feel the pain of all of the abuse survivors we are likely to come across in the world online, is a sure way to overwhelm yourself and burn out. I’ve seen it over and over again. Much like COVID-19, these issues are global, and huge. Trying to take on that much pain is an impossible task, and isn’t actually going to be helpful. Much better, is to develop compassion. As the guests on the show discuss, compassionate emotions push us to act. That act, helping others, does more good for them, but is also good for us. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, and shutting down, we are taking some small amount of control over the situation, and acting on it in a way to helps. We become the helpers that Mr. Rogers so famously talked about. Being a helper, makes us happier. It sets aside our own anxiety and struggle to do something, which is always a good way to move beyond those things.
So, the question may be not only what are you doing to take care of yourself during this time of great anxiety, but what are you doing to help others?