Caregiver burnout is a serious problem
Caregiving is demanding and stressful. It’s a role where you could often feel like you have no control or that you’re in over your head. Many caregivers also don’t have the help they need or try to do more than what’s realistic — physically or financially.
All of this can quickly lead to caregiver burnout.
What is caregiver burnout?
Caregiver burnout is when you feel completely exhausted — physically, emotionally, and mentally. Your attitude has also shifted and now you’re feeling negative and uncaring.
You might also feel:
- Guilty about spending time on yourself
Why caregiver burnout is a big problem
When you’re burned out, it’s a huge challenge to care for yourself, not to mention your older adult. Your body is beaten down so you’re more likely to get colds or flu, have serious health conditions, or even an increased risk of death.
2 steps to recovering from caregiver burnout
Don’t worry, you’re not doomed to an early death. This is something you can fix.
1. Adjust your mindset
Part of what pushed you to this burnout point is the mindset that caregiving is something that should consume your life. And that it means cutting out anything that’s not absolutely necessary because you’re already so busy.
The irony is that regularly resting, relaxing, and recharging your batteries will help you be a better caregiver. You’ll have more patience, be able to think more clearly, and approach things with a more positive attitude.
Here are some ways to adjust your thinking and manage stress:
- Try practicing gratitude. Sounds cheesy, but it works.
- Find out how to become more resilient.
- Use a handy app to manage stress.
- Get perspective from others at a caregiver support group.
2. Find ways to give yourself time off
It’s great to realize that you need some time off. Now it’s time to find ways to make it happen on a regular basis.
Here are some ways to find help so you can take regular breaks:
- Put together a caregiving team.
- Find out how to get more support from family.
- Use respite care to take a break.
- Take advantage of local volunteer companions.
- Enroll your senior in an adult day program.
Caregiver burnout is a serious problem that needs your immediate attention. It’s something that can be improved with a few simple changes that help improve your life balance.
There’s no such thing as a perfect life, but having some balance is critical to keeping your overall health on track and keep you from burning out again in the future.
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Dave, the Caregiver’s Caregiver