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 increases the problem.
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 or help him or her to the bathroom. All of those little minutes add up, and your lack of sleep leaves 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.
If you decide to hire a professional caregiver, of course your highest priority is to find one who is experienced, reliable, and compassionate. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elderly care. San Antonio families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
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 is 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.
Adding a professional caregiver to the team may give you a huge feeling of relief. In San Antonio, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.
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.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, you’re not alone. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted San Antonio in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (210) 495-6300 today.