Guarding Against Caregiver Burnout – Part One

How’s you balance?  I’m not talking about walking on a balance beam.  Rather, how do you balance the myriad of things to do in the array of areas that make up your life?  I don’t know about you, but sometimes it just plain difficult and exhausting.

Now throw in being a caregiver and you can find yourself drowning in the lists of things to take care of and the stress of trying to balance it all.  It can leave you feeling like you have to be and do everything for everyone.  Especially the person you are caring for.

You may not even realized you are in this balancing act.  Maybe you have been a caregiver for so long you don’t even recognize that you might have what is called” Caregiver Burnout”.  The signs may be such a part of your life that you don’t see it as stress and may need to be honest and willing to hear feedback from those around you.

Burnout isn’t like the flu which comes and then goes.  It can start and last well past the traumatic or prolonged episodes of caregiving.

Caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. It may be accompanied by a change in attitude, from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially.

Here are some symptoms:

  • Feelings of depression
  • A sense of ongoing and constant fatigue
  • Decreasing interest in work
  • Decrease in work production
  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and social events
  • Increase in use of stimulants, alcohol and unhealthy foods
  • Increasing fear of death
  • Change in eating patterns
  • Feelings of helplessness

If you are a caregiver, do you see any of these symptoms in yourself? If so, acknowledge that caregiving is filled with stress and anxiety.  And like any other illness –know you can guard against this destructive condition.

The biggest thing you can to help yourself is to make time to take care of yourself.  It’s like the airline attendant tells us when the masks dropped down in an emergency, always put yours on first before your help your child, or loved one.  So too, with being a caregiver.  Take time out to care for yourself, because without your physical and mental state cared for –  you will not be able to care for anyone else.

Know there are other specific steps you can take to help ward off burnout and we will address them in the next blog post.   So stay tuned and in the meantime – carve out some healthy self-care.

Source: Today’s Caregiver Magazine


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at


Blessings for Health & Wellness.



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