Are you looking for a healthy way on how to deal with the grief of animal abuse?
Are you seeing cases upon cases in your Facebook feed and you are feeling overwhelmed?
Do you work in a profession where you see animals that have been abused?
Unfortunately animal abuse is a terrible reality in our world and I would love to see it end!
When you are a caring person who loves animals your grief can become overwhelming. Why? Because you are empathic and you want to help these poor animals. I get that and I am with you.
However, being a caring person can be tricky especially if you don’t monitor or take care of your feelings of overwhelm, anger, hatred, despair, etc. Even though all of these feelings are normal they can still stack up and create a tremendous amount of sadness in your life.
Every day I see or hear these stories. The stories come from my clients, students, and colleagues. Real feelings of deeply rooted compassion fatigue and grief from rescue workers, pet peeps, and pet professionals.
Even though grief is normal it’s important to know the following tips that will help you.
5 Tips on How to Deal with the Grief of Animal Abuse
1. Social Media
This is a big one! Social media is full of stories, pictures, updates, and organizations asking for money to help abused animals. On some days it is endless on my Facebook feed.
The way I tell my clients to deal with this is the same thing I do. I limit myself to seeing five posts per day. Yes, I count them and keep track of them. If I go over five I begin to feel the overwhelm. You may feel this with one post. If you do close your social media account, get up and do something else.
2. Time Out
If you work in the animal field you have probably experienced some form of animal abuse. I have worked with veterinarians who have 5-10 patients a day that come in and are victims of abuse. The compassion fatigue is over-the-top for them.
Being a practitioner in an empathic profession lends to having an open heart, which can then lead to feelings of despair.
What should you do in this situation? Make sure you have time out sessions. When you begin to feel it coming on take a bathroom break. Take a water break. Put you head out the door and take a couple of deep breaths.
3. Become an Animal Advocate
For some folks they find the best way to deal with the grief of animal abuse is to become an advocate for animals. They volunteer for a particular rescue group. They start working at their local humane society.
They go into a profession like Reiki or Massage Therapy to be able to work directly with animals. In my career as a canine and equine massage therapist I enjoyed helping those animals with safe touch. It is rewarding work to help animals this way to work through the grief.
4. Get the Support You Need
Whether you attend a support group or talk among your co-workers it critical you don’t stuff your feeling inside. If you do I can guarantee your grief will grow.
Grief is an honest and very real feeling. As a society we aren’t supported as we should be when something horrible happens. One of the best ways on how to deal with the grief of animal abuse is to find a trained professional in the field of pet loss.
5. Do the Grief Work
Grief doesn’t go away on its own. It takes work and learning what your grief is about is paramount. I have written many books and articles on the subject where I go into detail about grief. I talk about normal vs. abnormal grief, the seven stages, finding support, how to pay tribute, what to say or not to say to a grieving person and more.
If you are feeling overwhelmed with the grief that comes with animal abuse please learn everything you can, become an advocate, get the support you need, and take breaks from social media and your work.
So your beautiful heart can continue to help these victims. The animals of this world need us and the only way to help is to be ready and strong.
Wendy Van de Poll, MS, CEOL is a certified pet loss grief coach, bestselling author, animal medium and communicator. Through her experience and working with others she teaches folks… grief needs attention so that it can teach the profound lessons of life. You can reach Wendy by clicking here. She also has many books on Amazon to help you on your journey. Her newest is Pet Loss Poems: To Heal Your Heart and Soul