Recognizing the Signs of Caregiver Burnout & Stress
Family members may struggle to meet the demands of providing care for an aging relative. Putting the needs of the person receiving care ahead of one's own, one's family, and one's career may be taxing for family caregivers, who may become exhausted and stressed as a result.
Caregiving may take a toll on your emotional and physical health, but it's not always obvious. Changes in behavior are often first noticed by those closest to you, such as family and friends.
Caregiver burnout may be avoided if people recognize the warning symptoms of stress and emotional strain. Here are some suggestions for preventing caregiver burnout among family members in Tukwila, Renton, Seattle, and the surrounding areas.
What Are Common Signs of Caregiver Burnout?
Learning to recognize the early signs of caregiver burnout is critical if you are the main caregiver for an elderly friend or family member. Taking care of a loved one properly requires a lot of energy, and if you're always worn out, you can't do a good job.
Common signs of caregiver burnout include:
- Feelings of resentment or guilt
- Exhaustion, low energy and fatigue
- Anxiety or worry
- Irritability or anger
- No longer finding joy in caregiving or other activities
- Hyper focusing on caregiving responsibilities
- Blaming your loved one or yourself for their situation
- Lack of sleep or irregular sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest or ability in eating well, exercising, or attending social events
- Excessive smoking, drinking, or eating
- Sudden weight gain or loss
- Physical pain, such as headaches and backaches
How to Reduce Caregiver Burnout
Your ability to care for your elderly loved one, as well as your mental health and relationships, may suffer if you refuse to take breaks from your caring responsibilities. Surprisingly, the best way to avoid burnout is to take some time for yourself.
Here are some ways family caregivers in Tukwila can manage burnout:
Relaxation and self-care
Yoga, deep breathing, prayer, and practicing mindfulness are all ways to relax that can be easily added to your daily routine. Try to set aside some time each day for meditation or prayer, even if it's only five minutes.
Proper nutrition and exercise
A healthy diet may do wonders for your body and give you the strength to face the day. Some research suggests that milder forms of exercise, such brisk walking or using the stairs, might boost endorphins—the body's natural "feel good" chemicals—and also enhance stamina, weight loss, and happiness. You can provide greater care for your loved one when you take better care of yourself.
Talk to your doctor
If you've tried self-care strategies for stress management and they haven't helped, it may be time to see a doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide you with tips on how to take care of yourself both physically and psychologically.
Join a support group
If you are providing regular care for a loved one, attending a local caregiver support group may help you connect with others in a similar situation and learn practical strategies for juggling your caregiving responsibilities. Talking to someone who has been through something similar can be comforting, but telling your own story can be much more helpful.
Consider respite care from Visiting Angels of Tukwila
As a family caregiver, you may find yourself in need of assistance from others from time to time. Visiting Angels of Tukwila provides respite care for families who need a temporary break from their caregiving duties. We have caregivers that can assist your loved one with household chores, attend to their emotional and physical needs, and more to ensure their well-being at home. You can relax knowing that your elderly loved one is in the hands of a compassionate and knowledgeable professional caregiver so that you can focus on your own life.
Call our Tukwila, WA office at 425-584-3567 to schedule a free in-home consultation today!