At some stage in our lives, many of us take on the additional role as “caregiver” Perhaps it’s to look after a chronically sick child or help an ageing family member. The term Caregiver burnout, caregiver stress or burden call it what you will, it’s overwhelming and if left unchecked the stress can certainly take its toll.
I’m open and honest about my mental health, that’s half of the reason this blog exists. I guess it’s a lot easier writing this down than speaking up and out loud. Becoming an advocate for Mental Health (I’m working on some exciting projects) is truly rewarding but I’ve suddenly felt the need to hide and be silent about how I’m feeling now. Conflicting emotions make it difficult some days to even know the response to “Are you ok”?
Before I had children my life was pretty “simple” I was working in retail part time & spent my spare time with my partner of friends. There wasn’t much stress in my life & looking after myself happened simultaneously.
For years I avoided parenting forums as nothing “fit” my Motherhood journey, I avoided “Disability” forums like the plague I couldn’t bare to read into the possible future. Since starting this blog I have a joined a few and I have met some pretty incredible people! A discussion that pops up frequently is Care giver burnout.
What is Care giver burnout?
Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude — from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. … Caregivers who are “burned out” may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. To read the full article on WebMD click here
Coping with caregiver burnout
Burnout can strain even the most resilient person! First was admitting I needed help and acknowledging it didn’t mean I was a bad mum. Second was recognising the warning signs so I could seek the correct type of help! There are many tools and resources available.
Feeling powerless is a contributor to caregiver burnout, especially if who you’re caring for has a chronic illness and needs care for long periods. Not being able to change the situation and falling down the rabbit hole of guilt, burdening feelings, questioning “what if” Emotions get the better of you. Focusing on the positive, deep meaningful reasons why you’re in that situation motivates you.
For myself I’m my daughters Carer & of course some days it’s too much. I could have had 5 hours sleep & constant screaming without communication takes it toll. Whatever the reasons. However I’m her voice, I’m her support team, I’m her world & that makes me feel empowered. I celebrate the tiny victories and focus on what I can control versus what I can not.
Giving myself a break
Just taking 10/15 minutes a day to sit, quietly alone.
Reading a Self help book – I’m currently reading Who says you can’t? You do by Daniel Chidiac. It’s fantastic at making you sit down & take a course or minutes to think who you are, Why are you not happy & how you can fix it.
Of course a pot of tea I’m British and tea is always the answer. Yet there’s something calming about sitting drinking tea at the window watching the world & realising its still spinning with all these problems.
Take care of your health, join a support group so you don’t feel alone. Take care of yourself! You can’t take care of somebody else if your not well.