If you are a caregiver, you know how stressful and time consuming caring for someone with dementia can be. It very easy to put your own needs and wants to the side in order to make room for all the other things that need to be done. While periodic longer breaks are important for preventing caregiver fatigue, we don’t get those very often. So, we need a variety of ways to fill our own tanks and manage caregiver stress, whether we have a few minutes or a few hours.
Top Signs Of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout is something to be aware of. This is complete exhaustion: mentally, physically, and emotionally. Some signs of burnout include.
- Withdrawal from friends and family.
- Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
- Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless.
- Changes in appetite, weight, or both.
- Changes in sleep patterns.
- Getting sick more often.
- Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring.
If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs and symptoms, it may be time for a change.
How To Avoid Caregiver Burnout
There are several ways to avoid getting burned out. Many of them involve setting aside specific time that is designated for yourself. While this may seem impossible, if you plan strategically, it can be done! Here are some ways to avoid caregiver burnout.
- Maintain a healthy mindset – make sure you are staying positive, setting goals, and meditating or reflecting often. Simple changes such as keeping a goal list can really change the course of a day!
- Get plenty of sleep – It is not secret that our bodies need sleep to function well. Make sure you are setting yourself up to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night.
- Eat Well – Nutrition can play a huge role in how we function throughout the day. Without the proper nutrients, our bodies won’t operate at optimum energy. Eat healthy foods so that you can be at your best when someone else needs you.
- Move Your Body – Physical activity and exercise is a great way to start your day releasing natural endorphins. Many people find that when they exercise at the beginning of the day, they actually are less tired as the day goes on. Make time for a walk or run so that you can get your blood flowing and body moving!
- Connect with others – Isolation is common among caregivers and puts them at risk for mental and physical issues. Try to stay connected through support groups, family and friends, social media, or just getting out and doing other things.
As you can see, there are many ways to avoid getting burn out when you feel like you are always giving 110%. Making some small changes to your daily routine can really help with not feeling total exhaustion.
Caregiving for another person requires a lot of energy and focus. Oftentimes, we find ourselves in the role of caregiver unexpectedly. When someone we love needs more support in their life, it can become a big and challenging job. If you are taking on this job alone, you are bound to become tired. Orchard at Athens understands this and is here to help. Contact us for more information about the programs we offer.