We all know that caregiver jobs can be exhausting. You spend all day pouring your heart into caring for someone else, and often times it’s difficult work filled with grief and struggle. You come home and you’re beat. It’s hard to do anything other than the bare minimum and flop into bed. This kind of life, with high stress levels and no relief, can lead straight to caregiver burnout.
But don’t panic, there are clear-cut, simple ways to take care of yourself and steer clear of caregiver burnout. I call them the ABCs of Preventing Caregiver Burnout!
Ask for help – Humans are not made to do life alone! We, as people, need each other and the same goes for caregivers. If you are feeling the burden of your CNA job beginning to drag you down, talk to someone! Ask for help. It may be help from a friend who will watch you kids once a week so that you can take a break. Or a relative who makes dinner occasionally. Or it may be a counselor who is able to coach you through your emotions and inner struggles.
Be “selfish” occasionally – Okay, let me clarify. As a caregiver, you’re prone to see the needs of others ahead of your own – which is very noble! But be sure to remind yourself that your needs are important too, and if they are not met, you cannot care for others So, take some time every week to focus on you and what you need to rejuvenate your soul. Read a book, go on a walk, paint, sing – do whatever it is that relaxes and renews you.
Create nutritious meals – Eating healthy is a key part of feeling good and staying energized and motivated! One of the effects of caregiver stress is overeating. Just say no – it only makes things worse. Eating healthy foods will keep you from getting sick, give you more energy, and just make you feel better all day long!
Do get some sleep – You will not function well for very long if you’re neglecting sleep. Caregiver jobs require you to be mentally with-it and ready for anything. That means you better not be yawning every 30 seconds. That means that as an average adult, you need 7.5 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
Exercise often – I know, the last thing anyone wants to do after a long day at work is go on a run or head to the gym, but exercise is so key in keeping your energy levels high and your body in good caregiving condition. If you’re a morning person, you can always squeeze in a workout before heading to work. Find a time that works for you and stick to it!
There you go, caregivers! Staying healthy and avoiding burnout is as easy as ABC. Stay well!
TIP: Laughing is another great way to prevent caregiver burnout, so check out last week’s Friday Caregiver Job Funny!