Sometimes caregiver burnout occurs before you have time to take preventative action. Fortunately, you only need to make a few simple changes to regain your former cheerful attitude.
1. Practice Self-Acceptance
Caregivers tend to place high standards on themselves. If you find yourself feeling guilty about not meeting your own expectations, it’s time to give yourself a break. You’re only human, and caregiving is hard work. In fact, you’re not alone when it comes to facing burnout. Accept your emotions as normal so you can begin the process of eliminating negative self-talk that only enhances the problem.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Tucson, AZ, Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age.
2. Open Up to a Counselor
The negative emotions you feel need to come out. However, you may be hesitant to tell the people in your life about problems you have, such as feeling frustrated with your loved one or angry at giving up other parts of your life. Professional counselors are trained to listen without judgment, and getting an hour or two to yourself once a week may be enough to help you feel less stressed during the day.
3. Get More Sleep at Night
Your burnout may also be the result of filling up more of your time with the responsibility of caring for your loved one. Take an honest look at your sleep habits to determine if you’ve been doing things such as waking up to check on your loved one. All of those little minutes add up, and your lack of sleep could leave you vulnerable to depression. If your loved one requires overnight care, try trading shifts with a professional caregiver so you can use your nights for rest.
Families looking for top-rated home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.
4. Start a Gratitude List
As burnout sets in, it’s easy to see only the negative events in your day. Grab a notebook and make it a point to jot down at least one thing each day that fills you with joy. This simple act may shift your mind to a positive state, and you’ll have a record of good things to read through when you have a rough day.
5. Ask Others for Help
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, but there’s an art to getting the help you need. Be specific with your requests to others. For example, you could ask your sibling to bring over a meal, or you could ask a neighbor to check on your loved one once a week. For any tasks you can’t find a volunteer for, hire a caregiver. Working as a team may make you feel less overwhelmed.
6. Use Relaxation Apps
Meditation and mindfulness training apps are an excellent way to destress within minutes. Try out a few to find one that works for you. Then set an alarm to remind you to take a quick time-out each day.
7. Take Time Off for Your Health
The symptoms of burnout can also be caused by things such as nutritional deficiencies, chronic pain, or undiagnosed health conditions such as diabetes. If you’ve been skipping your yearly appointments, it’s time to head in to the doctor’s office for a checkup. Getting your health under control can help you regain your strength to prevent another round of burnout.
For some families, caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Tucson, AZ, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. To speak with one of our friendly and dedicated Care Managers, please give us a call today at (520) 276-6555.