When you’re a caregiver, it’s easy to put your loved one’s needs ahead of your own. There’s a lot to do: Are your loved one’s medications set out and organized? How are they feeling? Is there any change in their physical health or in their mood? Do you need to schedule any appointments for them or run any errands? While taking care of someone, it’s easy to get burned out. Burnout is more than the stress of having too much to do in too little time. Burnout is when your well has run dry…things seem bad and you can’t envision them ever getting any better. This can happen when you expect too much of yourself and unrealistically believe that everything you do as a caregiver will surely have a positive effect on your loved one’s well being. Remember….some things can’t be fixed! These are some of the signs of burnout you should look out for:
- You seem to catch every cold that comes your way or are sick a lot more often than you used to be.
- Eating patterns have changed—you’re either eating a lot more or a lot less.
- You are just worn out all the time – even after a good night’s sleep.
- You withdraw from friends and family that you’ve been close to and socialized with regularly.
- You’re irritability is now at the surface, all the time. It just doesn’t take much to make you snap at those around you.
- You don’t care about things you used to enjoy whether it’s reading, shopping, or taking part in some hobby.
- You don’t care about your personal appearance anymore. How you look just doesn’t matter and you may feel guilty about taking time for yourself.
As a caregiver you’ll experience one or more of these symptoms from time to time. If you experience several of these symptoms for a longer period of time and are feeling helpless or hopeless, you may be suffering from caregiver burnout.
Please share your experiences with burnout. How were you able tell that you were beyond stress and well on your way to burnout? Comment below.
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