Being a caregiver is a rewarding position and offers an opportunity to be empathic and compassionate. However, no one has an unlimited amount to give, and being a caregiver can have some adverse effects. Namely, many caregivers experience high levels of stress — which often leads to burnout.
Knowing the signs of caregiver burnout helps address the situation, improve overall health, and maintain high-quality work.
Here are five red flags to be aware of for yourself or someone you caring for a loved one.
Abnormal Bad Habits
There are several bad habits that people can pick up to cope with burnout, as well as high stress. For example, losing interest in eating or cooking is one such symptom. Another symptom of high stress which also makes it harder to recover from burnout is irregular sleep or insomnia. Someone showing signs of burnout may also take to recreational drugs or an increased intake of alcohol.
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Poor Physical Health
Stress manifests in the physical body as lethargy and poor health. Individuals may seem to be tired all the time and lose interest in maintaining their physical health and hygiene. Further, they may have regular or persistent colds, start developing high blood pressure, or have unexplained weight loss.
Apathy and Social Withdrawal
People experiencing burnout as caregivers spend a lot of their energy available for interpersonal support and engagement on those they are caring for. Thus, they may show who show less interest in previous hobbies, avoid friends and family, and spend most of their time in.
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Intrusive or Negative Thoughts
While working with patients, an overwhelming sense of negativity regarding their situation may pervade as a caregiver gets deeper into their burnout. Sometimes, these negative thoughts can manifest as dramas in the mind, being quite overwhelming and stress-inducing.
Moodiness and Extreme Emotions
Individuals who have become drained in their interpersonal energy pool may show a lack of emotional stability. This can manifest as being easily irritated, or regularly feeling strong negative feelings like anger, guilt, and resentment.
3 Tips to Lower Your Stress Levels
Permit Yourself to Take a Break
Remember that you need time to decompress. If something has worked for you in the past, like taking walks, watching movies, or meditating, try this again. If you don’t know what to do, research mindfulness and relaxation techniques and find what works for you.
Let Yourself Ask for and Accept Help
Ask friends or family for occasional help with caregiver tasks. Consider a brief respite stay for your loved one or patient. You can also make an appointment for mental and physical health help if needed.
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Break Down Tasks and Learn to Say No
The more you can lessen your workload, the better. Break down tasks into smaller, easier portions. If you have too much on your plate, say no to taking on more work. This can be hard sometimes, but if you explain why you need to say no, folks are usually quite understanding.
Arista Home Health Care Solutions
If you or a loved one is experiencing burnout from being a caregiver, consider professional services from Arista. We can take over some of the caregiving duties for your loved one so you can get a break and take care of yourself too. Contact us for more information.