“I have nothing left to give” or “I feel completely worn out” do these sound like you? Being a caregiver can be exhausting and really disrupt the balance in your life. Many people who choose a job as a Caregiver often have a lot of compassion and have a tendency to put others needs before their own. Caregivers also tend to struggle to say “no” to family and friends and give in to every request which can further escalate feelings of exhaustion and resentment.
So what are the signs of caregiver burnout?
- Lack of energy
- Increased irritability with the person you are caring for
- Feeling stressed or anxious all the time
- Difficulty sleeping
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Lack of motivation to do caregiver responsibilities
- Increased health issues
So what can you do to avoid caregiver burnout? The first step is to develop your inner awareness and monitor yourself daily. Ask yourself “how am I feeling today?” and “what do I need ?” and follow through on what you are needing which could be some well deserved down time or maybe spending some time outside to get a breath of fresh air and revitalize yourself.
The next step is to be mindful of your self-care. It can be easy to get in the habit of skipping meals, not exercising or not taking downtime for yourself and always focusing on helping others. This sets you up for burnout. To overcome these symptoms takes a change in your mindset. Remind yourself that you care for others by caring for yourself first and that you are worth taking time for.
To further prevent burnout, practice saying “no” which can make a huge difference in reducing other responsibilities in your life so you can find more time for self-care. Make it your daily intention to eat regularly and engage in some daily movement to help release any built up stress.
One of the best ways to prevent burnout is to use your support system. Finding and keeping social supports in your life can really be the release valve for all your stress and help you keep perspective in the work that you do.
It can take some time to break some habits which can lead to burnout but know that it becomes easier the more you are aware and practice daily self-care. Remember that “an empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown If you fill your empty lantern, your light will shine through and you will be in a much better place to provide the best care for those you serve.
If you or someone you know is experiencing caregiver stress or burnout, help is available! I provide help and support, call or email today for a free consultation 919-618-6526 or firstname.lastname@example.org