I just love how the New Year brings feelings of a fresh start! We get to move on from old things and bring on the new. There is a renewal of spirit and energy and it seems as though everyone wants to make goals and meet them. We spend time going over things that we could have done differently and vow to not repeat these things in the new year. Caregivers who have limited time and energy usually look forward to the New Year and have a hope for better things in the future.
A great place to begin with this change would be to address the issue of Caregiver burnout and ways to avoid it. When we protect ourselves from the type of burnout that comes from lack of self-care other things tend to fall into place.
I have a family member who dealt with this personally. In her want and need to provide top of the line care for my grandmother she neglected herself. She was barely getting sleep, was constantly worried about my grandmothers well being and it was ultimately causing her unnecessary stress. Here are some easy to manage tricks that I would suggest to her and any other caregiver I know.
There’s no I in Team!
Most of us instinctively want to do things on our own sometimes you might have to force yourself to put a team together to support you. Their support may be needed physically, emotionally or even spiritually. Sometimes you must put your pride aside and ask for help and there is nothing wrong with that. Having someone to talk to and call when you need emotional support is vital. Always ask for help when you need it!
Always take note of whats going on with you. Being self-aware is one of the key factors to avoid becoming overloaded. Sometimes stopping to make check your posture can be a sign of physical stress. It is also important to check your emotional state when checking your physical. Are you calm and self-aware or anxious and annoyed? By checking on yourself you can do things to soothe yourself, like resting, eating, reaching out to other or just simply taking a breather.
Take a Break!
Many peoples default mode is to go the extra mile, to push themselves to get everything done and keep at it until every issue is resolved. As a caregiver, this trait is a great thing and a dangerous downfall. I’m not encouraging slacking off or ignoring what needs to be done, I’m just saying that everyone could use a break from time to time. Sometimes allowing yourself a change of scenery, a 5 minute breather or just a quick sit down can make all the difference. I would also encourage doing something nice for yourself from time to time!
Let’s all agree to protect ourselves in 2019 by taking these steps and any other positive thing that works for us to avoid burnout before it even has a chance to hit us. Let’s have a year of living our best life! Let’s make sure caregiving doesn’t rob us of the joy that comes along with life. Let’s get the help we need when we need it.