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Caregiver Tips: Self-Care and Avoiding Burnout

Aug 15, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Riverside and Corona

Caregiver Burnout - Signs and Preventative Measures

Providing help for someone brings a lot of positive things into your life, but it can also be a physically and emotionally draining effort. In order to avoid the development of what is known as caregiver burnout, it is important to find the right balance of time, effort and energy spent between caring for your loved one and yourself.

Common Characteristics of Caregiver Burnout

  • You no longer like what you once found pleasant.
  • Friends and family expressed concern about your well-being.
  • You receive negative comments at work.
  • You start experiencing relationship difficulties, including new or exacerbated problems with your spouse.
  • Experience intense feelings of anger, hostility, fear and dread.
  • You are having trouble concentrating, resting or sleeping, focusing and paying attention
  • Sudden weight changes or new & unexplained health problems.
  • You are using/abusing substances to cope, control or suppress unpleasant or painful sensations.

Indicators of Possible Future Burnout

  • Harboring feeling of anger, bitterness or resentment towards the person you are caring for
  • Easily irritated at either the person you are caring for or those close to the situation who are not helping you provide care
  • Arriving late to your shift or leaving early on a frequent basis – is also a good barometer. Caregiving is such that there never seems to be enough time and your shift is over before you know, if you are clock watching then it’s quite likely to step back, take a breath and assess yourself and the situation.
  • Isolation yourself from friends and family – is not only a sign of burnout, but maybe an indicator of depression

Coping with Caregiver Burnout

Stop me if you’ve heard this before and it may sound obvious but a respite or break for a day or two away may be your best bet in warding off caregiver burnout.

Other Caregiver Burnout Prevention Strategies to Consider:

  • Exploring therapist's help
  • Search and join both local and online caregiver support communities
  • Living in gratitude and reading positive quotes or affirmations daily (find a good source and taking 60 seconds to start your day does more than you can imagine).
  • Make a list of what you can and cannot control in your situation; Concentrate on what you can control and try to accept what you cannot control.

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