Caregiver burnout is a serious situation and it’s one you can do more than you think to avoid. The key is to put together a toolkit that works for you. These techniques and tools can get you started formulating a plan that works well for you.
Evaluating What’s Working and What Isn’t
Periodically take some time to work out what’s helping you to be the caregiver you want to be and what isn’t working so well toward that end. You don’t have to change everything now, but it does help to have some idea about what you might want to work toward changing. If something you’re doing, like sleeping less than you should, is affecting your time as a caregiver and other areas of your life, that is something that you can put on your list.
Taking Time for Yourself
Usually what caregivers find they need to change is how much time they’re taking for themselves. If you’re not taking time to do the things that you need and want to do, that means you’re putting your own life on hold to take care of every aspect of someone else’s life. That is not a situation that you can sustain for long periods of time. You have to continue living your own life, which means doing things just for you.
Writing in a journal might not seem like an activity that can be terribly effective, but you would be surprised. Daily journaling helps you to work through feelings and to spot patterns that you might not have been able to notice otherwise. You don’t have to follow any particular rules when you journal. The act of writing out whatever occurs to you can be incredibly therapeutic on its own.
Writing out a Gratitude List
Focusing on gratitude is one way you might choose to journal, or you can add this as another activity to try. Gratitude is so powerful because you’re actively focusing on what you’re grateful for and happy about rather than what’s going wrong. This can help you to really shift your mindset to the things that are positive in your life.
Being a caregiver means that there are going to be times that are harder than others are. It’s how you cope with those times that really matter and when you have tools in your toolkit for dealing with stress you’ll get a lot farther.