Written by: Dee Cohen
As a licensed social worker and certified yoga teacher, Dee is interested in holistic health solutions for the body and mind.
The term caretaker-burnout is usually used when referring to someone who has the responsibility of taking care of someone else who has a debilitating illness or condition and is experiencing physical or emotional problems as a result of doing this.
Many people balance careers as well as school with taking care of a loved one at home, and it can be a straining task in many different ways. Caregiver burnout can manifest in the form of insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and overall exhaustion. Even though taking care of loved ones is an important job, taking care of oneself is equally crucial. This is also true for social workers, nurses and home health aides.
There are a number of things that people can do to avoid being driven into the ground emotionally.
- By setting aside time for yourself, you will be able to better take care of those around you.
- Taking good care of oneself can mean doing things like practicing meditation once in a while or getting regular physical exercise.
- Both of those things can relieve the stress and frustration that people who take care of others sometimes experience.
It is important to know some of the most common signs of this problem so you will be able to identify them and help yourself immediately.
- Feelings of depression, loneliness, or hopelessness are fairly common with people who devote themselves entirely to taking care of a family member or someone who is close to them. Oftentimes therapy can be of help, because you will have an outlet for your emotions. Talking to another person about what you are feeling will help.
- When someone begins to withdraw from friends and society in general, this can be a sign that energy is depleted. Spending so much time taking care of someone else can drain you and make you lose enthusiasm. This can also lead to a decrease in regular activities that you once enjoyed. Even increased thoughts about death are common among people who start to get discouraged taking care of someone else.
- Guilt can be part of this problem. Thinking that you don’t have the right to be frustrated or stressed may be the reason why you smile even when overwhelmed. It also causes one to become extremely irritable and react irrationally to small things.
Allowing this kind of stress to accumulate for years can result in many emotional and physical problems which can become quite serious. Ways to stay physically and emotionally healthy include making sure you have a healthy diet and keeping all of your daily priorities in order. Having a support system also helps quite a bit.
It Can Be Overwhelming Caring for Others If You Ignore Yourself
Daily Comforts for CaregiversThe Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers:The Practical Caregiver’s Guide to Home Hospice CareSelf-Care for Caregivers: A Twelve Step ApproachChicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul: Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers: