Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue

Dealing With Stress, Burnout, and Compassion Fatigue

In this episode, host Pete Waggoner and O’Connell Family Funeral Homes’ Amber Miller welcome Stress Awareness Month by discussing the different aspects of stress. From its usual symptoms to how it relates to grief and burnout, the two share their personal insights and experiences on the topic. They also delve into compassion fatigue and how one can cope with the stress brought by providing care and solace to a grieving person. In the end, Pete and Amber share several Dos and Don’ts when dealing with stress. 

This episode is a must-listen for anyone experiencing monumental changes or going through burnout, whether because of grief or exhaustion from the stressors of life.


  1. Stress can be isolating, but you don’t have to deal with it alone.
  2. People who provide care and solace to those who are grieving can experience stress, too–this is called compassion fatigue.

In this episode:

[2:18] Pete and Amber start the discussion by defining what stress really is. Amber explains how it can have physical manifestations, which are the body’s way of reacting to monumental changes and disruptions to our routines.

[10:12] The two explore the topics of burnout and compassion fatigue. They discuss how stress can also be experienced by those who provide support and comfort to those who are grieving after a loved one’s death.

[13:49] Amber and Pete talk about the different ways one can deal with stress and compassion fatigue, whether as an individual or with friends and family. Amber shares how there’s no one-strategy-fits-all approach, but small efforts such as taking short walks and setting little goals for the day can make significant impacts.

[20:11] Amber delves into the community component of dealing with compassion fatigue. She talks about how some organizations, such as care centers, are starting to implement initiatives such as prayer and debriefing sessions for the nurses who support the patients and their families.

[24:29] Pete and Amber discuss the negative impacts of social media and excessive use of mobile devices on one’s overall health and sleeping habits. They wrap up the episode by summarizing the Dos and Don’ts of dealing with stress and highlighting the importance of counseling.


  1. O’Connell Funeral Homes
  2. Daily Affirmations Emails – Sign up now! 
  3. Amber Miller
  4. Read Show Transcript


  1. “…It’s universal, so it impacts all of us.” – Amber Miller on stress
  2. “Stress is so isolating.” – Amber Miller
  3. “We need to put ourselves as a priority. We need to know how to say no when our bucket is filled, when our limit is had. And we just need to practice self-care daily.”  – Amber Miller

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