Caregiver Burnout — 5 Ways to Become More Resilient
Caregiver burnout is real. Whether you work as a caregiver professionally or you are the primary caregiver for a loved one, you know how stressful that can be. Working with people with dementia is even more so.
It’s important that you take time to relieve your stress, as it will only get worse. Many people carry it in different ways so you need to find a way that works best for you.
5 Ways to Become More Resilient
You are not going to be any help to anyone if you are not dealing with your stress. Very often, we can be stressed without really being aware of it. You need to know your levels of stress and when it becomes too much.
1. Look Out For You to Avoid Caregiver Burnout
That little bit of me-time is very important, but it’s bigger than just a hot bath and an early night. It’s knowing when you have had enough and taking steps to make you better.
Make time for activities you like. If you have a hobby, take time to work on it. It also means saying no to people. Don’t let others make demands on time you have to give.
Take time to do things you enjoy. That can be reading in the park, going to an afternoon movie, or baking. The important thing is to clear your mind of other people’s problems.
Do some yoga, walk the dog, go to the park, ride your bike, join an exercise class, keep an eye on your junk food intake and be careful when it comes to self-medicating.
2. Reach Out Before You Experience Caregiver Burnout
“A problem shared is a problem halved.” This is true. Reach out to friends and family, regardless of how you do it. Talking about how you feel is always a relief, but it needs to be shared with someone who understands you.
There are also caregiver groups you can join and talk to and share ideas of what you are all going through. It can be very enlightening to realize that others are all feeling the same things you are.
Spending time with your loved ones can really make you feel better. Sharing your problems with people who will not judge or dismiss you is even more so. Keep your social circle strong.
3. Accept Change
All too often in life, we are faced with situations we can not change. We don’t have any control over them so we need to let them go. This means knowing your own limitations and the limitations of these you are caring for.
Stress is everywhere, already. Don’t invite it in. Understanding that things need to change will allow you to just go with the flow, It’s too damaging to worry about things you can’t control. And worrying will lead to caregiver burnout.
Rather, embrace change as a way to learn, to move forward, and to grow. No one wants to be the same little goldfish swimming around and around in circles all day. Forward is change.
4. Learn How to Solve Problems
This is an important skill and one that you can develop. When you come up against a problem, take a moment to think about ways to solve it. All too often, our first response is to panic.
The more you do it, the better your skills will become and then when you are faced with problems, the flight or fight instinct will automatically become fight.
Challenge yourself to see how many different solutions you can come up with and challenge your co-workers to do the same. These skills are the way new ideas become policies.
5. Be Optimistic- It Will Help Avoid Caregiver Burnout
Take pride in the work you do and the care you give. Understand that it is difficult for everyone, and the better your attitude, the better of those around you, as well.
Take a ‘glass half full’ state of mind when you start to feel down or like what you are doing doesn’t matter. It does matter. And it matters to a lot of people. Your positive attitude will show in your work.
It’s not always easy to be optimistic, but you can learn to laugh at yourself and at situations that you can’t change anyhow. Give yourself little pep talks if you need to, it never hurts to have a positive word with yourself now and again.
As rewarding as the work can be, it can also be very stressful. The frustration of working with dementia patients can start to seem impossible. But, you are doing great work and making a big difference even though it may not seem so.
No one will expect perfection, so why would you? It’s a noble profession, caring for your loved ones. Cherish the time you have with them, take breaks, enjoy what you have, and take pride in all your accomplishments.
We Are Here To Help
At Sycamore Creek Ranch Memory Care we are here to help. We want families to make the best decision for their situation.
Furthermore, the staff at Sycamore Creek Ranch is proactive. That means we are not waiting for a problem to arise. Instead, we are actively engaged with each and every resident. And with only 16 residents we can do that! Come for a tour at Sycamore Creek Ranch! See how we can help!