According to the National Caregiving Alliance, more than 65 million U.S. adults — the majority of whom are women — provide care for a family member or friend during any given year.
Caregiving can bring many positives, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining. In order to avoid developing what’s known as caregiver burnout, it’s important to find a balance between caring for your loved one and yourself.
SIGNS OF CAREGIVER BURNOUT
-You no longer find pleasure in things you once found enjoyable.
Friends and family have expressed concerns about your well-being.
-You’re getting negative feedback at work.
-You’re having problems with your spouse.
-You experience intense and recurrent feelings of anger, sadness, worry or fear.
-You have difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, notice drastic weight changes or unexplained health problems.
-You find yourself using a substance to cope with, manage or suppress uncomfortable or painful feelings.
INDICATIONS OF THE NEAR-FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF CAREGIVER BURNOUT
Regular thoughts of anger or resentment toward the person for whom you’re caring
-Irritation toward others who aren’t helping with your loved one’s care
Isolating yourself from people who aren’t involved in providing care to the person-Consistently arriving late to appointments or to visiting the person receiving care, or often leaving early
It may seem cliché, but taking a break can be your greatest ally against the development of caregiver burnout. Some strategies include:
-Enlisting the help of a therapist
-Finding and participating in a supportive community
-Making daily gratitude lists and reading affirmations each day
-Setting aside time for yourself each day
-Making a list of what you can and cannot control in your situation; focus on what you can control and try to accept the things you cannot