Helpful Strategies for Avoiding Burnout During Caregiving
to your friends
those around you have observed a change in your behavior or demeanor,
take a minute and think whether what they are
saying might me true. The first step
in resolving burnout is to recognize that you are suffering form it. Be open
to the observations of others.
one person can do everything. Acknowledge that in your humanness
you have limitations. Allow others to help; delegate responsibilities.
for help and learn to say "no" occasionally. Lower your expectations
of yourself and others; your health and well-being are more important than
perfectionist caregiving. Set your priorities and guard your own personal
on your loved one's strength
on strengths and capabilities that remain. Rather than focus on what
your loved one cannot do,
allow him or her to do whatever
is still possible,
if the doing is slower than you might want or not as well done as you
some sort of relaxation outlet that works for you: exercising, listening
to music, meditation, taking a walk,
a book, taking
a nap, talking with a friend. If necessary, find a nondestructive
way to vent
very real frustrations.
care of your health
you ignore your own health you won't be much help to your loved one.
Research indicates that situations of increased
lead to many
habits such as smoking, drinking, unwise drug use, overeating.
It is essential that
you maintain healthful eating, sleeping, and exercising habits
and that you see a doctor when necessary
a life outside your caregiving role
role of caregiving can swallow you up. Develop new hobbies or skills,
take classes that provide
contact with other people.
a "burnout" role
record those events in your life that create stress. In a few weeks
you will be able to identify
and consider possible solutions.
a caregiving team
is not necessary to face caregiving all alone. Ask close family members,
other relatives and friends
even if you
think they won't
want to help.
Have family brainstorming sessions to gather ideas
that will only come out of group discussion. Work
doctors, nurses, social
clergy to find workable solutions to your problems.
Learn to trust others to help you
on your sense of humor
laughter can warm the bleakest of situations. Whenever possible,
look for the humorous side
of the situation.
Rent some funny videos,
talk over funny
memories. A good chuckle will make a real difference.
the benefits of leisure time
leisure is not selfish — it
is life-affirming. How did you spend your leisure time before you
became a caregiver? Can you adapt some of your former
activities to include your loved one? Time
constraints, other obligations and guilt may make leisure time
difficult to find, so be creative.
a support group
may be struggling with so many confusing feelings: fear, frustration,
anger, isolation, resentment, sadness, grief and
so on. A support group
you with an appropriate place to work through those feelings. People who
have similar situations can be an incredible source of support
for one another simply
because they understand. Shared tears and laughter help make burdens
you have tried many of these suggestions to little or no avail, consider
working with a therapist who specializes
in stress reduction
chronic illness. A counselor may be able to help you vent your
feelings in a safe, non-judgmental environment. He or she may also
be able to increase
your awareness of unrealistic expectations and teach you new coping
your own efforts
best caregiving in the world will not change the outcome of many
illnesses. Frustration about your powerlessness
in these situations
to feelings of burnout. Rather than belaboring yourself for your
cure what is incurable, draw strength and comfort from what you
can do. You can provide dignity, care and love. You cannot control