6 Tips For Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

JULY 11, 2023  /  KELLI NAPOTNIK  / 

6 Tips For Avoiding Caregiver Burnout
Feeling overwhelmed as a caregiver can be a very common circumstance. You may be taking care of a spouse suffering from illness, an elderly parent, a child with special needs, or working in a healthcare community. Providing loving long term care for another person is hard and you may experience burnout at some point in your journey. This is normal and watching out for your own needs is important too. The tendency as a caregiver is to downplay your own needs. Here are 6 tips to help you take care of yourself along the way which is a crucial part of your caregiving role.
Make Time For yourself
As caregivers, we sometimes need a friendly reminder to recuperate. It's amazing how refreshed we may feel if we take a few minutes for self-care. This post written by Lindsey Shantz is written specifically for caregivers of a loved one with cancer. She recommends the book, The Art of Caregiving for ideas that help balancing caring for someone with illness while also caring for yourself.

6 Tips For Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Ask For Help When Needed
For some, it may be difficult to ask for help. If you feel this way, reach out to a close friend or family member for advice or seek counseling to cope mentally and emotionally with the stress of caregiving. Don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. There are now several great sites like Better Help that allow you to meet with a counselor from your own home which might be helpful if leaving home is a challenge. As a caregiver, you know the joy that can come from helping someone else, and it's okay to allow your friends to care for you in the same way. This can be hard to do, but they will be grateful for the opportunity to support you.
Schedule Time Off In Advance
You may find that if you plan for time off in advance, the stress of leaving will be significantly decreased. You might consider hiring help or asking a family member to step in during your time away, so you can rest assured your loved one is taken care of.
Eat Healthy
There have been studies that suggest there is a link between the foods we eat and our mental health. "The impact of broad spectrum micronutrients is that people improve their function across the board." Even starting small can make a big difference in how much energy you have throughout the day! Choosing to support your body with healthy ingredients is a form of self-care.
Don't Feel Responsible For Mood Changes
It's ok to mourn with those who are grieving or to experience joy at someone else's accomplishments, but keep in mind that as a caregiver you are not responsible for someone else's emotions. It's important to note the difference between helping to guide our loved ones through stressful changes and carrying those emotions ourselves.
Delegate Tasks - Set Up a Meal Schedule!
Try to delegate tasks you may struggle with to someone who has a strength in that area. This can also be something as simple as sending a gift card or ordering a meal for someone instead of cooking!
As caregivers and meal providers, we understand the importance of community. It may be difficult to be the one to ask for help. We hope you feel supported as a Take Them a Meal user and we encourage those of you who are caregivers to take time for self-care today! If you're not currently in a caregiving role, take some time to think of someone who is. What is something small you could do for them today to offer a little respite?

6 Tips For Avoiding Caregiver Burnout

Read other recent articles by Kelli Napotnik:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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