Burnout is a few steps beyond just stressed and every caregiver is at risk of venturing into that extreme exhaustion zone. But you can take some steps that help you to avoid burning out.
Remember That What You Do Matters
When you’re running around trying to solve everyone else’s problems, it’s easy to forget that you’re doing something that matters. But not everyone can be a caregiver and you’re doing something really important. Remember that the actions you take matter.
One of the tasks that can get out of hand fast is trying to keep other family members updated. If you’re spending tons of time texting, calling, and emailing all sorts of family members, you’re probably running yourself ragged. Find a way to streamline communication, especially in emergencies. Use a social media group or an email list instead of trying to contact everyone individually. You can send a message once and that takes a lot less time.
Take Little Steps toward Organization
Disorganization can cost you money, but as a caregiver, it costs you more in time and energy. Do what you can now to take little steps every day to be more organized. As you make strides toward this goal, you’re going to experience a lot less stress, just in trying to find what you’re looking for when you need it.
Ask Yourself What You Need and then Make a Plan
Get in the habit of asking yourself what you need at any given moment. If you notice you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask what you need. What you might need most right then is just a moment to think. And if that’s the case, take that moment. If what you need is more complicated, then make a plan to get what you need.
Give Yourself a Break Whenever You Can
You need to be more deliberate about taking breaks. That’s the one thing that most caregivers neglect. Find ways to support your elderly family member while you’re away, but don’t deny yourself that time for yourself. It will help you to be a much better caregiver.
Being a caregiver means that you’re juggling an awful lot all the time. It’s really important for you to stay in tune with yourself and to do what you can to meet your own needs. Other people may try to help, but they don’t necessarily know what you need. Help them know what you need.