First responders and caregivers serve others in stressful, sometimes overwhelming situations. To preserve themselves, these empathic professionals need to become aware of the emotional burdens of their work and release them. Through transparency and genuineness with themselves and with the support of their teammates, caregivers and first responders can use effective self-care to avoid compassion fatigue and burnout. Compassionately caring for others in need often involves taking on and experiencing the negative energy of painful emotions. Acknowledging and releasing these emotions does not make someone unreliable. They can instead grow stronger, more effective and resilient, more able to take on greater challenges in their vital roles of service.

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