Avoiding Home Care Burnout
Maybe you’re caring for an ailing parent, a sick spouse or disabled child. Your days, nights and in-betweens are full of a variety of home care duties. Maybe this is your profession, what you do for a living. You feel great about your choice to help people. You are full of compassion and caring and always put others before yourself.
But, now it’s apparent that if you don’t do something about your own needs, you won’t have anything left to give. You feel down. You feel tired, depressed and like you just don’t know what you have to give anymore. What can you do? Don’t just continue in despair, try one of these true remedies.
Find peace. Someplace in your home, outside, even as small as a certain corner or chair. Make that a place of restoration. Keep good books, journals and Kindles close by! Find those websites that uplift. Try not to focus on the ones that bring you down. Begin a spiritual practice of prayer and/or meditation.
Exercise. Even just walking or stretching a little every day can create a positive boost to your mood and attitude! Find time for a walk, a bike ride, a little bit of yoga. Our bodies want to move, let them.
Food. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. That leads to bad decisions of caffeine, sugar, over processed easy to find foods. Fill yourself up with good foods and make a plan to have something on hand for those tough times when you’re tired and want to reach for a Snickers or a Coke.
Forgiveness. Practice it for yourself and those around you! It has amazing healing properties.
Vacation. Sometimes you just need to take a few days off. Research has found that even planning a vacation can relieve stress as you daydream about what you might do! Start thinking about how you can make a quick trip to the beach or the mountains a reality. Look for help from others if you need it.
Be open to letting go of perfectionism. Does everything have to be your way or it’s wrong? You may be setting yourself up for extra stress that you don’t need. There is no way for any of us to control everything in life. Do your best and then let it go.
If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we certainly won’t have anything left to give to those for whom we do home care. Take self-care seriously to be the best caregiver you can be.