Being a caregiver isn’t always easy. It can be downright exhausting and overwhelming. Caregivers can suffer from burnout. When that happens, you may need a break from being a caregiver so that you can take some time to care for yourself and return with a fresh perspective. Not sure if you’re suffering from caregiver burnout?
Here are 5 signs that indicate you are.
Caregiver Manhattan Beach CA – 5 Signs You Need a Break from Being a Caregiver
#1: You Snap at Your Aging Relative
Caregiver burnout can cause you to become irritated with others easily, including your older family member. You may have less patience than you once did and snap at the senior for things that are not their fault. You might also find some of your caregiver tasks more frustrating than you did in the past.
#2: You’re Using Sleeping Pills or Drinking More Often
Unfortunately, some caregivers find themselves resorting to using drugs or alcohol to deal with negative feelings. It’s common for them to use sleeping pills inappropriately. Or, the one glass of wine they used to have with dinner may turn into multiple glasses.
#3: You Feel Exhausted Most of the Time
Being a caregiver is tiring on the best of days. However, when you are experiencing caregiver burnout, you’re not just tired, you’re exhausted. You may have difficulty getting as much done in a day as you used to. You might also turn down invitations to spend time with other family members or friends because you’re just too tired. Even taking a nap may not relieve the exhaustion.
#4: Your Own Health is Getting Worse
Caregivers are prone to neglecting their own health because they are busy looking after their aging relative. They tend to skip their own medical appointments or fail to manage their existing conditions. They may not eat well or find time to exercise. All of these things can put them at risk for illness. It can also compromise their immune system, causing them to catch every virus that comes along.
#5: You’ve Stopped Engaging in Hobbies
Caregiver burnout can make you stop doing the things you love. You may stop engaging in hobbies, like crafting, golfing, or attending concerts. Part of the reason can be that you’re too tired or lack the time, but it can also be disinterest caused by depression.
If you recognize any of these signs in yourself, it’s important that you take steps to deal with them. One way to manage caregiver burnout is to find ways for you take a break from caregiver duties. Ask friends and family to spend some time with the older adult while you do something for yourself. You might also consider hiring home care to take on some of the responsibility.