Spending a significant portion of the day tending to the needs of another can be both physically and emotionally tiring. As a result, caregivers often begin to feel overwhelmed. There’s no shame in feeling burned out, and recognizing that you need caregiver support can be the first step to improving your quality of life, as well as your loved one’s. Here’s what you should know.
What Is Caregiver Burnout?
Reduced physical or cognitive abilities usually require long-term care. Over time, stress, anxiety, and isolation can contribute to a feeling of exhaustion that overwhelms both the body and the mind. This is called burnout.
It may become more difficult to provide adequate care for the person at this stage, but many caregivers continue their duties while ignoring their own needs. This can have negative long-term consequences for their overall health.
What Are the Signs?
People who need caregiver support might suffer from emotional and mental health concerns, including anxiety, irritability, hopelessness, and depression. The caregiver may also feel chronically exhausted, especially if they have to get up at night to tend to their loved one. Often, caregivers don’t seek the medical help that they need, so these concerns have the potential to worsen over time.
Burnout can also lead to harmful stress-relief methods, such as drinking or smoking. Caregivers might pull away from activities that previously brought them joy, like spending time with friends and reading books. Difficulty concentrating and feelings of resentment are also hallmarks of burnout.
How Can You Avoid It?
Recognizing that you’re suffering from burnout is a step in the right direction. You must prioritize your own needs, especially where your health is concerned. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from another family member or a caregiver support provider.
Allow yourself time off from your caregiving duties so that you can unwind. Go for a walk, take a hot bath, lose yourself in a book, or take a nap. These moments are key to restoring your sense of self. Partaking in regular physical activity can also be helpful, whether you do some light yoga or jog around the neighborhood.
Consider speaking to a therapist if you find that you need additional emotional support. Sharing your thoughts with a person who isn’t involved in your everyday life can be cathartic.
Don’t allow burnout to overwhelm you. Turn to Sally’s Place in Swanzey, NH, for caregiver support. Here, your loved one will enjoy fun and relaxing activities in the company of trained and compassionate professionals. Stimulation and social interaction are beneficial for your loved one. Visit the website to find out more about this adult activity center, or call (603) 338-0073 to speak to a representative.