Caregiver burnout is a mental, physical, and emotional state of exhaustion caused due to experiencing excessive stress daily. According to research by FCA, more than 50% of caregivers report experiencing high stress frequently. In this article via the Charlie-Helen Robinson website, we explore the common signs of caregiver burnout and the best strategies to overcome stress.
Signs of Caregiver Burnout
The symptoms of caregiver burnout can differ from person to person. Below, we discuss some common symptoms for your reference:
- Spending Less Time with Family: Caring for a loved one requires you to be available 24/7 while simultaneously managing work duties. This can leave little to no time to interact with others in your life.
- Loss of Appetite: As reported by Medical News Today, when a person feels anxious, it triggers the body’s flight or fight response resulting in a loss of appetite. Over time, you’ll start to lose weight and can start falling sick easily much easier than before.
- Changes in Sleep Pattern: Prolonged stress can have a major impact on one’s sleep as well and can lead to difficulty in falling/staying asleep and a gradual reduction in sleep each night.
- Neglecting Your Needs: Whether it be not eating meals on time, or sleeping less than before, pushing your needs to the backburner is a common symptom of caregiver stress.
Strategies to Overcome Caregiver Burnout
Understanding triggers and making healthy changes to your lifestyle is the key to overcoming caregiver burnout.
- Joining a Support Group: Through a support group, you’ll be able to meet others who empathise with your situation and provide support and guidance on the habits that help them manage stress.
- Asking for Help: It is often the case that caregivers refrain from asking for help in anticipation of being judged. However, managing work, home chores, and the health needs of a loved one together is not a realistic expectation for anyone. The next time you feel overburdened, reach out for help. For instance, request your partner to undertake caregiving needs when you need to go out for work or leisure.
- Trying External Care: When you’re unable to provide your loved one with the level of care they need, the best option is to hire a registered nurse or professional caregiver. While this will be a big change for everyone involved, it will be the right decision for the long term.
- Be Mindful of Your Needs: Just as you cater to the health needs of your loved one, focus on your needs as well. Eating a healthy diet, sleeping at least seven hours a night, and twenty minutes of daily physical activity will significantly decrease stress and help you develop a good work-life balance.
As mentioned in this article, caregiver burnout can negatively affect your health in numerous ways. The key to managing these symptoms will be to make healthy lifestyle changes, ask for help, and join a support group to meet like-minded people.
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Photo by Pavel Danilyuk: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-sitting-on-the-floor-6874229/