Caregivers have plenty of responsibilities and sometimes it leads to burnout. There are several factors that lead to burnout. These include disagreements between the caregiver and the person being cared for, stresses of the tasks involved in caregiving, and family issues related to the caregiver's responsibilities. Signs of caregiver burnout include anxiety, fatigue, depression and neglect of duties as a caregiver. Here are some solutions for overcoming caregiver burnout.
Talk to other relatives
If you feel that you are taking on more than you should, it is time to sit with other relatives and discuss your concerns. If you are caring for your older brother who is disabled, talk to the rest of the siblings and request their help in caring for him. Each sibling can spend a few hours each week checking in on him and running errands if needed.
Take time out for yourself
Another thing you should do is take time out for yourself. Some good activities include reading favorite books, having phone conversations with friends, taking a solo road trip to a nearby city, visiting the hair salon, or taking a long nap. When you carve out time for yourself, you are better able to care for your loved one.
Look for a support group
Support groups for caregivers are great because you can meet and establish friendships with caregivers who deal with the same stresses as yourself. You can get advice from them on the best ways to reduce the stress and there might also be times when the group members can help you care for your loved one.
Maintain a healthy diet
Don't let the stresses of caregiving cause you to have an unhealthy lifestyle. You want to eat the right foods and get in at least thirty minutes of physical exercise daily. Some good foods for your health include fruits, vegetables, whole grain snacks, milk, natural fruit juices and homemade granola bars.
Don't neglect doctor visits
You shouldn't ignore anything unusual you notice with your body because it could mean that something is going wrong. Visit the doctor regularly and let him know any symptoms you're experiencing. Take heed to the doctor's instructions and get rest if necessary so that you'll be refreshed upon returning to your duties.
Plan your week ahead of time
While you cannot plan for every situation, you can manage your time better with adequate planning for the week ahead. If your mother has a few doctor visits next week, you can iron her outfits this week and hang them up. Or if your husband's extended family will visit a month from now, you can get a head start by doing a little organizing each day until the week before they arrive.
You don't have to let the stresses of caregiving kill your joy. With these steps you can live well while caring for those you love. It also helps to have a sense of gratitude for the person you're caring for when times get tough. You might not like the stubbornness of your elderly aunt, but think about the love and compassion she showed you over the years. Finally, you want to remain optimistic.