11 Real Caregivers Share How They Deal With Caregiver Burnout
Thirty-six percent of caregivers consider their caregiving situation to be highly stressful. Prolonged stress and exhaustion can lead to caregiver burnout. This can lead to depression, changes in your behavior, appetite loss, and changes in your sleep pattern.
Because burnout can profoundly impact your mental and physical health, it’s important to address it before it progresses. Easier said than done, right? To understand how caregivers can manage it, we spoke with real caregivers who shared what worked best for them to prevent and deal with burnout.
1. “Know what self-care means for you. It may be setting time to reach a goal that makes me happy or having socialization time, or having time to walk outside and be in nature. Making sure your social, mental, emotional, and physical needs are met.” - Jacquelyn Revere
2. “To avoid burnout, I have to make sure that I’m taking care of myself. And I have to realize how I’m sleeping, how I’m eating, and how I’m carrying myself throughout the day.” - Alma Valencia
3. “You have to be your number one priority. That can look different for a lot of people, but my number one advice is to focus on you. Maybe you can’t take a vacation or get someone to watch your loved one. But you can find those moments of joy every day.” - Kris McCabe
4. “I wish someone told me I could avoid burnout by realizing that I’m not SuperWoman. That I can only do a little bit at a time. My advice would just be to take it moment by moment. You can only do what you can. And the things you did not do, leave it for tomorrow. It will be alright.” -Ty Lewis
5. “Keep routines and communications with your friends and family. Build a circle of support that can provide levity and comfort along your journey. Create partners through community-based resources.” - Carlos Olivas
6. “Infuse self-care into our lives. Self-care isn’t what the media portrays about bubble baths and weekends away. As caregivers, we have to try things that we think might make us feel more energized and give us peace of mind and then be creative about ways that we can infuse those things in the nooks and crannies of our life.” - Elizabeth Miller
7. “My advice to avoid burnout is scheduling your day. Make a schedule and stick to it. I promise you the routine, and just knowing exactly where you’re going to be at what time brings so much peace of mind.” - Chris Punsalan
8. “One helpful tip to avoid burnout is to develop a support network. Really think about “Who are my people? Who can I get together on my team who have my back?” Sometimes that’s going to be family or friends. Sometimes it’s neighbors. - Ashley Stevens
9. “Find a routine or schedule that allows for you to support your loved one. I know that caregiving can often be unpredictable, but if you’re able to follow a pretty consistent schedule, you are able to carve out time for you.” - Patti La Fleur
10. “Identify those things that really connect us with ourselves. It can be spending time in nature, listening to music. Deep breathing exercises can be simple and grounding. Spending time with friends. So finding ways to bring those activities to our caregiving day.” - Theresa Wilbanks
11. “I have to reach out for help. I have to ask my husband to take my daughter so I can do something with friends for the evening or just go to bed early, or do a project that makes me happy and refuels me.” - Michelle Seitzer
Need Some Help?
We know it can be hard to get help when you’re not feeling yourself. If you have questions about resources on caregiver burnout or just feel like you need to talk to someone that understands, our Caregiving Specialists are here to support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (800) 696-CARE or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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