Caregiver stress and burnout is a common problem for caregivers around the world. After all, you are giving so much of yourself to someone else—it’s bound to eventually take a toll. Burnout happens when we give too much and wind up having nothing left for ourselves; this can happen at work, at school—and yes, looking after a loved one.
Some common symptoms of caregiver burnout include anxiety, depression and irritability. This can manifest in overreacting to minor nuisances and feeling tired and exhausted. Trouble concentrating can also accompany this, as can drinking, smoking or eating excessively. In general, caregivers who are burnt out often have less energy than they did before and have trouble relaxing, even when help is accessible. Immune systems also have a tendency to break down during this time and it can seem like any cold or flu that’s running around can find you. Helplessness, hopelessness and impatience rum amok and life can be pretty daunting.
Does this sound familiar?
For many caregivers, all too often this is true. However, the first step to getting out of burnout is to look for the silver lining and stay positive. How has caregiving helped you grow as a human being? How has it brought you closer to your loved one? Second—you can’t let caregiving take over your life. You have to make time for yourself—to have fun, to socialize, to put some time into your life and well being.
At the end of the day, you want to remind yourself that you chose to be a caregiver for deeply personal reasons. Perhaps it was a sense of ethics and morality that drew you to this position or setting an example for future generations to come. Perhaps you chose to be a caregiver because of your dedication and love towards your patient. Whatever the choice was that initially got you there, it was done so concertedly, so you have to embrace that and remind yourself of that when you grow impatient and sad. These motivations can help you get through the doubting, challenging times.
Located in Greenwich, CT, CT Help at Home is proud to be a top rated home health care provider in Fairfield County, CT, Westchester County, NY, Manhattan, NY and beyond. Our clients are our family and we treat everyone with compassion and care. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your loved ones.