7 Ways to Overcome Caregiving Burnout
There is no doubt that looking after someone is a demanding task that could lead to stress. Stress takes a toll on your health and your state of mind which can lead to burnout. When you are emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausted, being a caregiver is more challenging. Use these tips to avoid caregiving burnout: 1. Take time for leisure. Spend some time in doing what you love to do. This could vary depending on your interests. Catch the latest movie by going to a cinema. You may find it refreshing to be in a crowded place after being home-bound for a long time. You may also try exploring the places in the city that you haven’t been to. Sometimes, a simple stroll to an unexplored path will regain your positive mood. Open yourself up to the possibilities: whether it’s reading, playing an online game, knitting, or watching your favorite reality show, do what makes you happy. 2. Reward yourself. Treating yourself for a good dinner is one example. Eating something you like will give you a sense of joy and contentment. In the same way, buying yourself something you fancy is a form of self-reward. As long as it does not break the bank, give yourself a prize for doing a tough task in caregiving. 3. Talk to your close friends and family. Communication with your loved ones is important for mental health. Time spent with good friends and close family can calm you down and reduce the stress that you feel. Feel free to speak up and share how you’re feeling when you find yourself stressed or overwhelmed. 4. Join a support group. Caregivers do unique work that comes with unique challenges. Joining a group of caregivers is one of the best ways to relieve your work-related stress. Sharing your sentiments with like-minded people will help you overcome caregiving burnout. Hearing stories from various caregivers gives you an idea that you are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association and CancerCare websites offer information on support groups. Once you join, you can chat online with other caregivers. 5. Socialize. Surround yourself with positive people. These are the kinds of people you would love to have especially when you are burnt out. Positive thinkers will always see the good side of situations. They will also give you the emotional support that you need. They will inspire you to take care of yourself and strive to be an excellent caregiver. Take time to have fun with them. A positive attitude is contagious. 6. Change your focus. Distract your mind by temporarily shifting your focus. Any action that interrupts your train of thought helps you regain your self-control. When you find yourself feeling frustrated or burned out, try thinking of things to be grateful for or reasons you have to be happy. If you need to take a brief break, try watching funny videos or reading an inspirational passage. Remember that laughter is great for your mental health and well-being. 7. Eat, Exercise, and Sleep. Get the proper amount of sleep as often as possible. Good sleep helps reduce stress and improves your memory. Sleep also keeps your heart healthy. Keep in mind that the recommended hours of sleep is 7 to 9 hours daily. Also, exercise can reduce anxiety and relieve stress. Do some short exercise routines at home such as squats and push-ups. Even a short exercise can yield benefits. As a start, aim for at least 30 minutes daily. You can break it into 10-minute routines if that works for you. Exercise will help you recharge your mind and body and conquer fatigue. Lastly, eat nutritious food. Eat fresh fruit, vegetables and protein-rich food such as fish and nuts. These foods are good sources of energy to fuel you in your caregiving tasks. No matter how stressful your caregiving responsibilities are, there are plenty of things you can do to ease your stress. Caregiving burnout needs your action right away. Begin taking these small steps, and you will feel positive and hopeful again.