One population that is most prone to burnouts is the caregiver community. Caregivers are people who devote themselves to the care of chronically ill or disabled family members, neighbors or friends. Caregiving comes with a mountain of demands which are often overwhelming. When the stress of caregiving progresses to burnout, you endanger your care recipient’s as well as your own health. You may not even notice that you’re experiencing burnout, but the people around you may notice changes. Listen if they express concern. If you are experiencing signs of stress, it is essential that you get the support you need so your stress doesn’t turn into burnout.
You can prevent caregiver burnout by following these essential guidelines:
- Accept Your Feelings: Caregiving comes with a wide range of difficult emotions, including worry, resentment, guilt, grief and helplessness. Allow yourself to feel these emotions, examine where these feelings are coming from, and slowly release them. It is okay to have feelings. Feelings are like warning signs, letting us know we need to focus on our own health and wellbeing for some time. As long as you do not compromise the wellbeing of the care recipient, allow yourself to feel what you feel.
- Share Your Feelings: Talk to others about how you are feeling. Keeping your emotions bottled up may increase risk of burnout. Confiding in a friend, coworker, family member, support group can be an invaluable experience. Seeing a counselor or therapist can go a long way to helping you control stress and prevent burnout.
- Know When to Say “No”: Through most situations we must accept what we can and cannot control. When there are opportunities to say “no”, it is important to give yourself that option, especially if you are already feeling overwhelmed. Be realistic about how much of your time and yourself you can give. Set clear limits; write them down and put them somewhere you can see them often, and communicate those limits to those involved.
- Seek Out Respite Care: Respite care means taking a temporary break from caregiving and allowing another caregiver to take your place. If you find you are suffering from stress, depression, solitude, or anxiety, it is a good idea to turn for help before you experience burnout. Do not let feelings of guilt keep you from taking time to recharge your battery. A little rest and relaxation can go a long way to preventing caregiver burnout. Ask A Better Living Home Care to provide you with the respite care you need and deserve.Taking care of yourself is your first defense against caregiver burnout. Pamper yourself often, eat balanced meals, and find ample reasons to laugh. In a world that does not give us much control, we still have control over our choices. Make the choice to watch for signs of stress and avoid caregiver burnout.