Caregiving is difficult — whether you’re working at the Lakewood CO assisted living facility or providing support for your family directly in the home.
Over time, the stress of the role can lead to caregiver burnout — a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion that can have far-reaching consequences. Caregiver burnout can certainly destroy your health and wellbeing, but it can also do much more. If you as a caregiver suffer, then the loved one you are caring for may suffer as well.
While you may have contingencies, like using the living benefits of life insurance for seniors to pay for additional caregiving costs, a far better scenario is to get the burden of caregiving under control so you can continue to provide for your family. The following are some simple strategies that will help you identify and mitigate caregiver burnout.
Recognize The Signs Of Caregiver Stress
To better counteract caregiver stress and burnout, you’ll need to understand their signs. You may recognize that stress is accumulating if you experience some of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Short temper
- New health problems
- Trouble concentrating
- Feelings of resentment
- Neglecting responsibilities
- No longer engaging in leisure activities
- Drinking and smoking to excess
When these symptoms accumulate and you feel some of the following characteristics also apply, you may be experiencing caregiver burnout:
- You’re getting sick more often and feel less healthy
- You have less energy than normal on a daily basis
- You’re neglecting your own needs because you’re too busy
- Your life is all about caregiving and it’s draining your happiness
- You’ve become an impatient and irritable person
- You feel constant helplessness and don’t care any longer
Recognize that you might also be more at risk for experiencing caregiver stress and burnout if you are female, prone to social isolation, lack coping skills, did not choose to become a caregiver, or have financial problems or limited education.
Dealing With Stress And Burnout
While caregiving will never be stress-free, you can limit stress and hopefully avoid burnout with some of the following strategies:
- Embrace caregiving as a choice
- Set limits and don’t let caregiving take over your life
- Focus on what is in your control
- Look for the silver lining in every situation
- Practice mindfulness and acceptance
- Accept help from others and make new connections
- Lean on your support group and social circles
- Get some exercise and focus on your personal health goals
No one strategy can handle all of your stress, but with a combination of different tricks that work for you, you’ll find it easier to shoulder your caregiving burdens.