10 Key Tips To Prevent Caregiver Burnout
Moms, in general, are amazing at caring for other people, but really stink at taking care of themselves. It’s the truth!
But why is that?
Well, there are many reasons:
- no time to ask
- want to be in control
- no energy to explain how it should be done
- and so on and so on…
Recognizing the Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout can be so hard to recognize because the symptoms look like other issues, but here are a few:
- Social withdrawal
- Weight gain
- Feeling of helplessness
Failing to recognize and care for these symptoms can lead into very harmful situations. So when you start feeling like you are going in a downward spiral, when you start feeling there is no hope or light at the of the tunnel, and everything seems so dark. STOP! Read these tips before it’s too late:
10 Tips To Preventing the Typical “Caregiver Burnout”:
1) Ask for help.
Whether it’s from your spouse, family member or even a friend ask for help, but more importantly, accept the help. “You just can’t do it all and even if you could do it all, no one can do it all well.” I got this saying from the book I am reading “Grace Not Perfection” by Emily Ley. But let’s think about that, isn’t it true, if you are so exhausted and so stressed out how can you put 100% in.
2) Stop Trying To Be In Control.
Stop always trying to be in control of things. Let someone else do it. It doesn’t always have to be done your way or when you want it done. Just walk away and let your husband do the dishes, fold the laundry.
3) Look Into Respite Care.
If you are not sure of whether your friend can handle helping you, turn to more professional help like that from respite care. Those are more trained and/or experienced people who can help you if you need to go to the doctor and just can’t bring your child. Or maybe you want to go out to dinner with your husband. There are local agencies in your area. Maybe you can start out with your local ARC center to get referrals.
4) Pursue A Health Lifestyle.
I know we tell ourselves that we just don’t have time to join a gym, but we are noticing that we are not in the best of health. Take baby steps and start looking at what it is that you are eating. Go to bed a little earlier, to get a full night sleep. Maybe you can even take a 15-minute walk, but it all starts with living a healthy lifestyle. Start looking a the quality of your life.
5) Daily Routines.
Start working towards creating a healthy daily ritual. Making time to sit down and read a book. Make a warm cup of tea and start journaling. Or finding a creative outlet like picking up baking or even picking up an adult coloring book and spending 10-15 minutes just coloring your worries away. I love my adult coloring book, it’s quiet and peaceful, you can even have a glass of wine or hot tea and just listen to good music. How about just having a dance party with yourself. You know the expression “Dance like no ones watching“. Give it a try! But you have to find a way to release your stress, but more importantly, trying to stick with one thing and making it a daily routine is the key!
6) Learning How To Say “No”.
Here is a radical concept “just learn to say no“. I know right, you are saying how do I do that. Well, it’s actually easier then you think. You can’t be everything to everybody. You need to put yourself first sometimes. Try it, it may be so liberating!
7) Schedule “Me TIme”.
Whether you want to take a warm “uninterrupted bath” or going to get a manicure. Put it on your calendar. You know that if you don’t schedule time for yourself you will never do it. You will always find something else to do in that spot.
8) Schedule a “Kid Free” Date Night.
When we are so overwhelmed and consumed with caring for our children, you know our spouse feels neglected as well. So I encourage you to schedule a “kid-free” date night with your spouse. So you can enjoy each other’s company, have an adult conversation and just get back to where you once were when you both met. Nurturing your spouse’s needs and even your own will so feel fulfilling.
9) Get Groceries Delivered.
So there are days that you go to the grocery store and it just turns out bad. You are tired and stressed and so are your kids, so what ends up happening the dreaded “meltdown“. Well if you can’t schedule doing that when your child is at school and you can’t find someone to watch them so you can go alone, see if there are any local stores who can deliver. We just got a delivery service for our local grocery store, and yes there is a cost to it, but it has truly been a lifesaver!
10) Say Nice Things To Yourself.
There are days that just start off bad. Maybe you can put can tape affirmations to your mirror or there are apps that you can download for some motivation. Even just giving yourself a big hug and saying “hello gorgeous” can do so much for you!
I hope you try some of these suggestions because the last thing your family needs is for you to get burnt out or sick! Your family needs you. Actually not taking care of yourself is probably the most selfish thing you can do. Remember that!