As a caregiver, caring for a loved one who is advancing in age can be difficult. Your life is suddenly filled with new responsibilities you didn’t anticipate. Over time, you start to feel rundown more than normal. You may feel irritable and stressed out, like there’s never enough time in the day. These are symptoms of caregiver burnout, which is when the severe stress builds up so much that your mental and physical states begin to shut down to a point where you can no longer take it. If you fall into full-fledged burnout, it will significantly impact your ability to care for your loved one.
What can you do about it? There are simple and effective ways to address these feelings and regain your energy.
The first course of action should be to schedule an appointment with your physician. There may be underlying causes for your burnout symptoms like low blood sugar or high blood pressure. Your doctor and can prescribe the proper tests to get you back on track to good health.
Sometimes, we get so worked up that we forget to stop and take some time out for ourselves. The solution is to find a quiet spot, close your eyes and clear your mind for 5 to 10 minutes every day. Meditating this way can significantly improve your life. If meditation isn’t your thing, find a beginner’s Yoga class online (YouTube) or through a television service. Yoga will help relax your mind and muscles while improving your energy.
Exercise has several benefits for the mind and body, which makes it an effective remedy for caregiver burnout. You don’t have to go to the gym. Walking around the yard or jugging up and down the driveway can enough to benefit. You can also put on your favorite music and dance inside the house. Moving can help increase the quantity of oxygen in your heart, lungs and brain and which will help you to feel better immediately.
You will feel better and be in a good mood if you feed your body with healthy foods. Add fresh fruits, whole grains, lean protein, vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil and nuts to your diet. They will provide you the steady energy you need to keep moving.
While burnout can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest, try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. When you get less, your energy, mood, productivity and ability to handle stress will be affected.
Caring for your loved one is a noble endeavor, but you must take time to care for yourself. Follow the five tips above to keep yourself operating with full efficiency so that you can continue giving your loved one the very best care they deserve.