As we approach Thanksgiving, we’re preparing for a time for giving back and being grateful for everything that we have. As a family caregiver, we’re sure the people around you are grateful for all you do for them. So, this holiday season, why not do yourself, and them a favor, by giving yourself some extra love and care?
Burnout Among Family Caregivers
Many family caregivers don’t spend enough time on their own physical and mental health, as they’re so caught up in being the best possible caregiver for their loved ones. The stress of being a family caregiver can wear on you, no matter how much you love your job! It’s a job done out of love, but still a job all the same—and one that you can’t do well if you let your own health slide.
Burnout is one of the most common effects of being a family caregiver. When was the last time you had a day off that was fully to yourself? When were you last not “on call”?
If it has been quite some time, make sure to give yourself the gift of a day off this month.
How to Avoid Burnout as a Family Caregiver
Even on a working day, there are small things you can do to make sure your own mental and physical health do not slip.
- Give yourself the same attention that you give your recipient of care.
- Stick to a healthy eating and sleeping routine to ensure your body gets everything it needs throughout the day.
- Keep a big bottle of water nearby to stay hydrated! Caregiving is often tiring work and missing out on these daily essentials can quickly make the stress of family caregiver even worse.
- Finally, remember that you’re not alone. Building a support network around you, perhaps of other relatives or other family caregivers, can be a huge help in taking the strain off your mental load. When you’ve had a hard day, talk about it with people that you trust.
Running into difficulties is a natural part of being a family caregiver, and it’s totally normal to feel strained. You’d be surprised how much simply talking about a problem can make it feel that much better!