Are you and coffee old friends? Do you sometimes watch your senior loved one take his afternoon snooze and feel jealous? Do you find yourself more and more willing to sacrifice time caring for yourself? Are you having more days where you feel “off” than days when you feel focused and on top of things?
These could be warning signs that you are on the road to burnout. A caregiver is someone willing to sacrifice their own time and comfort to care for others. This often (and sometimes unknowingly) means sacrificing basic self-care.
This does not mean a burned out care giver is a failure. A person experiencing burnout is simply someone who has not recharged in a while. While skipping personal self-care during an emergency is necessary once in a great while, consistently skipping self-care can land anyone in burnout. Realizing you or someone you love is on the road to burn out (or has already arrived) is the first step in the recharging and healing process.
We’ve compiled a checklist of warning signs. If you are experiencing more than two of these stressors, head over to our self-care page for some simple and inexpensive destressing tips, or seriously consider how you can get help and a break.
- Constantly low on energy.
- Experiencing frequent headaches, or back and neck pain.
- Going through stomach aches or, worse, diarrhea or constipation.
- Feeling foggy-headed or lightheaded.
- Catching every cold that comes around. Constantly sniffling.
- Constantly feeling cold, even in summer.
- Experiencing overwhelming anxiety, guilt, depression, or loneliness.
- Noticing that you are feeling increased frustration and irritability, maybe even feeling like you want to hurt yourself or the person you are caring for.
- Having difficulty sleeping.
- Finding difficulty in concentrating, having racing or disorganized thoughts, feeling forgetful, or having difficulty in making decisions.
- Noticing decreased interest in appearance, punctuality, or things you used to enjoy, including spending time with loved ones.
- Increased consumption of caffeine, over-the-counter drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs.
- Experiencing a rapid pulse, chest pain, heart palpitations, or difficulty breathing. (If so, please head your closest emergency room as soon as possible as these symptoms could also indicate a heart attack.)
Being a caregiver is HARD. It’s okay to acknowledge the challenges, but it’s also very important to not burn out yourself. Even when it feels like there are no other options, remember that there is always help available. Reach out to someone.
At Home Care offers occasional respite care for as little as two hours at a time so that caregivers can get breaks. We can also connect you with a lot of resources for seniors in the Manhattan, KS/Wamego, KS areas. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs.