Caregiver Ambiguity Leads to Burnout

Prolonged stress can lead to physical and mental exhaustion and influence the life of a caregiver. It’s no secret that stress management is important, especially in times of ambiguity, which is common on the caregiving journey. The word ‘burnout’ is tossed around a lot when asking caregivers what they worry most about. Caregiver burnout is physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Burnout does not hit all at once. When it does, it can be associated with attitude changes to adverse and unconcerned behaviors and nonchalant care. Burnout happens when caregivers do not have continued support and breaks in rendering care. If financial stains are in the mix, it adds a layer of tension.

Providing for your loved one requires support from many angles. It is not always family members that provide the best assistance. Outsiders have a different engagement. They truly want to support the caregiver. Some who have experienced caregiving of any kind have an empathic spirit and want to do what they can to prevent burnout. There are simple and sensible action items that all caregivers can do. The key is to be intentional. Understanding self-care must be at the top of the intentional ‘to-do list’ daily for every caregiver.

Caregivers must eat a healthy diet. Fueling the body with nutritious food is so essential. Exercise is important, but it can also give an emotional uplift. Ten-minute workouts and walks in the park are convenient ways to add exercise. There are countless free interactive UTube videos to exercise and dance to improve and heighten endurance. We cannot forget the need for good sleep habits for our well-being. It is also a great idea to avoid sugary drinks and caffeine before going to bed. My favorite during my caregiving years was music, soft, soothing instrumental jazz, or hymns. Promoting sound sleep hygiene must also include powering down technology devices.

As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, there are many things out of your control, but there are just as many in your control. You are in control of you! Don’t have unrealistic expectations at the risk of health and wellness. While the journey of caregiving can be ambiguous at times, you can manage and organize yourself as you care for your loved one. Be safe! Be well.

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