Being a caregiver is so rewarding — but it can be incredibly stressful as well as physically and mentally exhausting. In fact, not everyone has what it takes to be a caregiver. No matter if you’re a caregiver by choice or due to family obligation, you’re susceptible to burnout. We hope you take these critical steps to avoid burnout.
Watch for the Signs of Burnout
Signs you’re suffering from burnout include feeling anxious, depressed, or run down, having sleep issues, becoming withdrawn, developing headaches or stomach aches, and having an overall feeling of helplessness.
Take a quick scan of your mind and body a few times a week to see how you’re feeling. If you notice any of these signs or if your own health issues are worsening, it’s time to take a break now — before your burnout progresses.
Take Care of Yourself
Take breaks throughout the day — even if it’s just for a few minutes to sit and breathe. During your extended time off, try not to spend it running errands and being busy — it’s important to have a rest. Have a long bath, relax with your favourite beverage and a good book or a television show, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Make sure you take time for your own health as well — exercise (even a 15-minute daily walk is great), meditate, eat nutritious foods, stretch, and see your doctor for regular visits. Staying healthy is integral for continuing to be a good caregiver.
Talk It Out
Although you should always respect confidentiality with the person you’re caregiving, it can help talk out general grievances and stressors with a good friend. Or even just sit with them and have a good laugh to take your mind off things. If you don’t have any friends you feel comfortable reaching out to, join a support group in your neighbourhood — or even online.
Look at the Bright Side
Being a caregiver is difficult — and it’s sometimes a thankless job. But it’s likely made you stronger in more ways than one. Remind yourself often that you are making a massive difference in someone’s life. You’ve probably gained skills you never knew you had, and you’ve likely made an excellent connection with the person you care for.
Trying to handle every aspect of caregiving yourself is very likely going to lead to exhaustion! Hire a cleaning or meal delivery service to take those tasks off your plate and delegate as much as possible. Ask family and friends to help out with caregiving duties or look into respite care (also offered at Trillium Communities), so you can take some much-needed time off on occasion.
If you’re continually feeling exhausted and having trouble acting as a caregiver, even after a break, it may be time for the person you’re caring for to move into assisted living or long-term senior housing. At Trillium Communities, we offer exceptional care, nutritious meals, housekeeping, activities, and everything else to help keep seniors feel healthy and vibrant. And best of all, since we handle all of the care, you can have a sit and visit with your loved one and not have to worry about anything else. For more information on our boutique communities, please contact us now.