Master These 4 Skills to Become a Compassionate Badass

Jessica Dolce, MS Certified Compassion Fatigue Educator, shared skills for “Practicing Compassionate Badassery” and coping with COVID-19 during The Fall Virtual Conference on December 2. In case you missed it—or if you were there and need a refresh—here are 4 juicy ideas from her badassery toolbox. 

So, what is compassionate badassery? Jessica describes it as “having the courage to care, even when you can’t fix it or predict the outcome. Compassionate badassery is based in the belief that “service is inextricably linked to self-care and community care.” 

Here are four of Jessica’s top skills to reduce stress and stay grounded in your personal and professional life:


An average person’s stress response is activated 50 times a day. According to Jessica, this is something we can learn to control through self-regulation, moving from a state of fight-or-flight to relaxation. The S.T.O.P. acronym is particularly useful––in order to exit survival mode, she recommends to StopTake a BreakObserve, and then Proceed with the stressful task at hand.

Basic Self-Care

What is self-care? Jessica sees self-care as energy management, and explains that “it’s how we replenish our used energy.” Self-care can be as simple as staying hydrated at work or taking regular bathroom breaks. Jessica notes that while self-care is necessary, it is insufficient on its own–we need to create a caring, supportive environment not just for ourselves but for our coworkers and peers.

Shift Perspective

Jessica notes that, especially during the pandemic, we have to set realistic expectations for ourselves. Redefining success is imperative to keep teams moving forward and accepting the challenges of the current situation with sympathy, sensitivity, and kindness. Jessica mentions the power of appreciating the positive without denying the negative. Similarly, organizational psychologist Adam Grant believes, “A sense of appreciation is the single most sustainable motivator at work.” 

Social Support

Among Jessica’s top tips for cultivating support in the workplace are scheduling regular check-ins with your team, creating a referral list of stress and mental health professionals, and reviewing your workplace’s options and insurance policies. 

More Jessica!

Coping With Stress During COVID-19: Self-Care Tip #1
Coping With Stress During COVID-19: Self-Care Tip #2
4 Ways to Care for Your Heart During COVID-19
Jessica’s website

Jordan is an extern for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. A senior English major at Carleton College, she is interested in marketing and communications. Working for The Association lets Jordan combine her love for animals with her interests in sustainability and animal welfare.

Zoë is an extern for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. A student at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, she plans to major in Sociology-Anthropology. Her passion for veganism and animal rights inspires her interest in the animal welfare sector.

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