Caregiver Burnout- 9 tips to Avoid it. One facet of caregiving that is not often talked about is Caregiver Burnout. This is a condition in which physical and mental exhaustion overcome you and in some situations cause you to be unable to function normally, much like a state of depression. The symptoms of caregiver burnout can often mimic to those related depression and anxiety.
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Caregiver Burnout- 9 tips to Avoid it
Caregiver Burnout Can be Difficult to Recognize
Symptoms of caregiver burnout are very similar to depression and anxiety. As a result it may be hard to recognize. Be on the look out for signs such as withdrawing from friends and family, feelings of helplessness, changes in sleep patterns, irritability, changes in appetite, and loss of interest in activities one once enjoyed.
To avoid caregiver burnout, is important to set healthy boundaries, and remember to make time for oneself. The following are some FUN suggestions of activities you can do to reduce stress and avoid caregiver burnout.
9 Tips to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Laughter is the best medicine because when you laugh, it actually induces physical changes in your brain and body. By stimulating circulation, muscle relaxation and reducing heart rate and blood pressure it relieves tension, stress, and can actually improve your immunity. When you are feeling particularly stressed, tune into a comedy channel, read a funny book (for a list of suggested funny books
CLICK HERE), or chat with a funny friend. A kindle membership plan can be a great way to keep your library of funny books at your fingertips! The short and long term benefits of a good laugh will have you feeling less stressed in no time!
It is well known and documented that physical activity is good for both the body and the mind. However, you aren’t alone if you simply feel too exhausted to exercise. If you don’t feel like hitting the gym, try something recreational that you might enjoy more such as biking, swimming or yoga. If you really aren’t up for it or have physical restrictions that make it hard to do so, you can even benefit from watching others play. Try babysitting for a family member or friend, or just go to a park and watch children at play. It is amazing how easily a child’s carefree demeanor can be infectious in the best way!
Clearing your space physically can have a lot of mental benefits too! Living in a cluttered space could even be a source of your stress and you may not even know it. If the idea of de-cluttering overwhelms you, start small. Just pick a mall drawer or closet to start with. This book can be a very helpful guide to get started! A secondary benefit to de-cluttering is you are likely to find items you can donate which will feel good to be paying it forward as well.
4. GET ARTISTIC
You don’t have to be talented in the art department to reap the benefits of expressing yourself through art. Simply playing around with the paintbrush, mixing different colors and painting whatever comes to mind can be very therapeutic. If you don’t have watercolors, use whatever you have on hand such as colored pencils or crayons. There are even adult coloring books on the market which can be fun. There is a certain shape, the Mandala, which is a circular figure that represents the universe, that is known to be extremely relaxing to draw. Here is a link for instructions on drawing a Mandala.
Writing can help relieve stress and anxiety, especially if you focus on the positive. Try writing down the highlights of your day, or what you are most thankful for in the moment. Grateful people are happy people. And positive affirmations can really change your mindset. Here is a link to a great caregiver’s journal.
6. SPEND TIME WITH ANIMALS
Pet ownership has many benefits including keeping you active, providing joyful companionship and providing a sense of purpose. You don’t have to own a pet to benefit from the stress relief of spending time with animals. You can pet sit for a friend, visit a dog shelter, or engage in animal-assisted therapy. Dogs are especially tuned into human emotions so they tend to be great companions for stress ridden individuals.
7. TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN
If you are feeling down, forcing yourself to smile can make you feel better and actually bring about positive emotions. Smiling offers a physical mood boost because the action releases cortisol and endorphins. But also, smiling in infectious, so as others see you smile, they will smile, which will ultimately result in more positive interactions in your day and lift your spirit.
8. LISTENING TO MUSIC
Music actually provides a “workout for the brain” that reduces anxiety, and can improve mood, sleep, mental clarity and memory. Give Amazon Music a try with a free trial.
9. GET SOCIAL
If you are not keen on the idea of Support groups, try joining a social club instead. You can achieve many of the same benefits of a support group without necessarily focusing on your troubles. Choosing a social club centered around your favorite hobby or pastime can be particularly therapeutic and you can connect with people who have similar interests.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your time, the most important thing is to find the time and commit to it. Even if it is one hour a week, make a conscious effort to keep that time sacred and not let it get away from you. Maintaining some time for yourself is critical to self care and mental health.
Essential Oils can be very helpful for Caregivers to avoid burnout. To learn more about the most useful essential oils for caregivers check out this article.…READ MORE….