Consider for a moment the earth's water cycle.
As the water moves, it changes states repeatedly. From solid to liquid to gas and then back again in a never-ending cycle. As wonderful as it is to be on the receiving end of this cycle, we must acknowledge that the process does sound exhausting.
While none of us will ever really know what it feels like to be a raindrop, many caregivers can identify with the feeling of constantly shifting requirements and expectations. Caregivers are always moving, adapting, and changing roles as they serve those under their care. They endure a constant and never-ending cycle of self-sacrifice, and that should not go unnoticed.
In order to ensure that caregivers do not succumb to the very real danger of Caregiver Burnout, they must actively seek support from the surrounding community. If you know a caregiver, encourage them throughout the day with notes, phone calls, or texts. Check in to see if you can help them take care of themselves so they may be able to get an hour or two to rest and recharge.
If you are a caregiver yourself, be aware of the dangers of burnout and apathy. Guard yourself from becoming overwhelmed or exhausted, both physically and emotionally. Reach out to your support system could be the first step in getting the help you need.
Additionally, you must know your limits and take steps to help mitigate burnout before you reach your threshold. A few ideas to overcome caregiver burnout are...
- Work reasonable hours so you can maintain a healthy work-life balance
- Take regular vacations. That doesn't mean you need to blow a lot of money on a far-flung adventure. Sometimes a nice stay-cation is all you need to bounce back.
- Use days off to recharge. Although piled-up housework may add to your stress, sometimes you need sleep more than you need freshly-dusted end tables.
- If possible, communicate your daily frustrations to a trusted friend or adviser. While you should never gossip or breach confidentiality, there are psychological benefits of fostering social connections by communicating stresses and concerns with others.
- Cultivate interests in your personal life. Busy schedules often crowd out personal hobbies. Making time for the things you love because even if that time is minimal it can help break the cycle of caregiver burnout.
Of course, this list is just the beginning. There are many other ways to help deal with the nonstop cycle of caregiving; however, the most important issue here is not whether or not you know every avenue to avoid potential burnout. The essential point is that you're aware that you have options.
If you recognize that the cycle has become burdensome, consider choosing just one tip from the above list and implementing it into your daily routine. Once you have established that pattern, try to make time for a second. Don't forget to spread the love by sharing your positive results with a friend or colleague.
We care about the total health and well being of those in the home care industry. If you have questions or comments about caregiver support, or want to know how Savii Care helps minimize caregivers' stress levels please feel free to contact us at any time.