It’s about time I stay a little more to the point and the general theme of this blog. This blog is about one unique experience of being a caregiver. The following post is important to share because it talks about burnout which I’ve seen, I’ve experienced, and am constantly recovering from and sinking back into and learning a little more about each time. The post itself doesn’t offer tips of how to deal with burnout, only the signs of it, but isn’t the first step to recovery admitting you have a problem? Introspectively, I realized a lot of my and other people’s behavior and symptoms are more linked to burnout then I knew and it shows up in ways you might not expect. There is a link to a very useful article that does offer suggestions to get back to your right self. This is from a wonderful blog called North Van Caregivers and is a a place to find kind and helpful support.
These are the 9 symptoms of burnout:
- chronic fatigue
- forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
- physical symptoms such as heart palpitations or headaches
- increased illness (colds, flu or hives)
- loss of appetite
- depression (can be severe)
Here is an interesting article on Burnout prevention and Recovery.
Wishing you the best of health and long life,
I’d like to add some of my own tips for dealing with burn out:
- Forgive yourself when you notice you are burning or burnt out. You are not lazy, weak, dumb, flawed in any way. Really, FORGIVE YOURSELF. You’re working hard and you care very much. Love yourself.
- I always say it: village, village, village. Build it. Make people help you if you have to and don’t feel one ounce bad for it. Caretaking is never supposed to be a one person job but I see it all the time.
- Ask for something if you need it. Don’t judge yourself for what you need. Just ask. People usually surprise you with their willingness to help. And even sometimes, with their understanding.
- Focus on the things you love about the caretaking you are doing. Say them out loud, especially to people caretaking with you. Write them all the wall. Add to them. And know this, if your angry and frustrated and loosing patience, it doesn’t mean you don’t love and appreciate the good things about that person and your life. It means you need rest, or stress relief, or to nourish yourself. You can feel both ways without negating any of your feelings.