It’s past 4 pm and you haven’t eaten a full meal or replied back to the several messages on your phone that were received yesterday. These are just a couple of the thoughts in the mind of a caregiver that is on the road to burnout. We understand how fast things can pile up leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stressed. While these are not uncommon feelings, there are ways to avoid letting caregiver burnout get worse.
We’ve listed some of the common signs that reveal your level of risk to a caregiver burnout and what you can do to exercise healthy ways to reduce your risk.
The physical and emotional exhaustion that can strike a caregiver can become too much to handle. You may feel helpless, hopeless, and your patience may suffer. Things that normally wouldn’t bug you are now setting you over the edge. If you’re feeling like you have too much on your plate, try to prioritize your tasks and be realistic with your timelines. Set alarms on your phone as a reminder to get things done or use a planner to organize your days. When you feel like you are on top of your to-do’s, you will feel a reduction of stress and regain better control of your life. Ensuring you are getting the rest you need by going to sleep at a decent time and not drinking caffeine too late in the day will keep you feeling rested and energized.
Lost Passion for Hobbies
You may have found that you no longer care for the things that used to bring you so much joy. Whether you were active in church groups, enjoyed bike riding outdoors, or reading books by your favorite author, these things may not seem appealing any longer. It’s important to carve a small amount of time in your week to do activities that will bring you enjoyment. We understand the demands of being a caregiver can result in putting your own life on the backburner, but even if it’s just 30 minutes of gardening or painting with your loved one – it can help to put a smile on your face again.
Has it been weeks since you’ve seen your close friends and you’re finding yourself avoiding their phone calls? Your friends and family care for you and don’t want to see you get buried in the stress of caring for someone else. They want to spend time with you and could be the stress-relief you need. Consider making reservations at one of your favorite restaurants and asking a friend to meet you for dinner or even book a one-night stay out of town with them. Sometimes sharing your frustrations and concerns with a trusted friend can help you feel like you’ve gotten things off your chest. If you trust them, they may provide some good advice that’s coming from a different perspective. You can also take advantage of the respite care we have available here at Oaks Senior Living. Your senior will get all the benefits of our community lifestyle for a time period that works for your needs.
No Appetite and Poor Diet
Are you skipping meals because you’ve lost your appetite or find yourself eating fast-food because it is more convenient? Don’t let the busyness of your schedule negatively affect your diet. Eat nourishing foods like fresh fruit, veggies, and lean proteins with healthy fats like fish and nuts as easy snacks. This will result in better sleep and better energy that will last longer. Avoid drinks high in sugar and caffeine. They may feel like they’re giving a boost of energy, but as soon as it wears off, you will experience a quick crash at the end of the day.
Being a caregiver can be both rewarding and stressful. We hope that we can relieve some of the stress by learning how to detect some of the signs of caregiver burnout you might be experiencing. Exercising some of these important practices can help you avoid it all together. Looking for extra resources as a caregiver? Subscribe to our blog or contact us today for more information.