Being a caregiver is demanding and there are many things that can’t be controlled so it’s best to stop chasing perfection. Just aim to do your best job possible and learn from past mistakes. As a caregiver, you’re under more stress than an average person, but if you don’t acknowledge and respect that fact, you’ll be subject to caregiver burnout.
As a caregiver, have you ever heard yourself say, “There’s no time to rest?”
Consider that time is actually not your enemy, but your to-do list might be.
The key to reducing stress lies in mindfulness. If you are mindful as a caregiver, you can take care of your loved one while keeping yourself strong, too.
Everyone can benefit from mindfulness. It can produce peaceful feelings, even in the midst of chaos.
Here are some tips:
Take time to just breathe.
Just taking a few minutes sitting with your breath can be relaxing. As a caregiver, this is a good practice to remember when feeling rushed. Sit down for five minutes, breathe deeply, with attention on your inhale and exhale.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Go outside if you can so you can feel some sunshine. Wherever you are, think of at least three things you are grateful for and write them down.
Get connected with others.
Stop trying to do this job alone. Call a friend, or two. Talking about challenges can diffuse the stress. Consider a support group of caregivers who have the same issues as you.
Remember what you love to do. Find something healthy that absorbs you. Perhaps you could use some exercise. Take a walk. Put on some favorite music. Enjoy a bubble bath. Dive into a good book. Make a list of things you enjoy so you can remind yourself when you need to do so.
Focus on the now.
As a caregiver, it’s important to do one thing mindfully at any given time. Multitasking has been proven to actually make you less productive. When you are with the one you are caring for, just be fully present for them.
As a caregiver, know your boundaries and do what is necessary to manage the stress and anxiety that can come with your job. Burnout is serious because it can impact you and your health now and also in the years ahead. In some cases, it leads to chronic health issues like high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
Want more information? Read the “Mindfulness & Caregiving” whitepaper here: Mindfulness & Caregiving (PDF)
If you need a break, are concerned about burnout, or simply would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to give Home Care Assistance a call at (615) 326-9849.