Caregivers are special folks who have to juggle not only their own life but the life of the loved one that they are caring for. Pinpoint your strengths as a caregiver to alleviate stress and caregiver burnout:
- Understand what you do best
Every caregiver has their own strengths. To identify your strengths, determine what you can do best and what will decrease the amount of stress in your caregiver role.
- Does food shopping stress you out normally? If yes, that’s a no-no.
- Are you detailed person and can manage the distribution of medication?
- Perhaps bathing and dressing your loved one is an area where you feel confident and can provide a safe experience for your loved one.
To determine your strengths and limits, review your loved one’s daily needs and decide which tasks you can manage and which tasks you may have to outsource. Alleviating caregiver stress in your life will be beneficial for yourself as well as the individual you are caring for.
- Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself as a caregiver may be the single most important thing you do for yourself. Some tips to keep your body and mind in check:
- Keep your appointments, make sure you get the amount of sleep your body needs and make time to eat regular meals.
- Make time for family, your children and keep your routines as often as you can.
- Take one day at a time. As a caregiver anything can happen at any given time. Try to live in the moment and avoid the ‘what if’s of caregiving.’
- Signs of caregiver burnout
As a caregiver you’re often so focused on your loved one that you may not realize that you’re burning out.
Watch for these signs:
- Gaining or losing weight
- Not sleeping well
- Becoming easily irritated or angry
- Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Feeling depressed and sad
If you are experiencing some of these signs you may be close to burnout. Ask for help to reduce your stress, regroup, and try to take some time for yourself as too much stress over a long period of time can damage your health.