Self care is so often forgotten or overlooked by care providers. We all tend to get distracted from ourselves during the holidays or other especially hectic times.
It is too easy to get lost in doing for others and striving to make life pleasant and comfortable for others because, for many caregivers, it feels good to do these things for others. The problem is, that we forget to respect our own needs and limits. When this happens, stress accumulates and burnout can threaten or actually occur.
We caregivers have to spread holiday cheer for our own families and also for those we care for, whether or not they are a relative. A big draw back from this compassionate giving is often caregiver burnout.
So, here are some tips for preventing and recovering from caregiver burnout during the holidays (and every day)…
To avoid burnout:
- Check in with yourself throughout the day and honestly acknowledge feelings of fatigue or irritability. Both are big warning signs of burnout.
- Be mindful to eat lightly and drink water every couple of hours.
- Do not feel that you must do everything for everyone yourself.
- Identify, notify /ask and be prepared with a list of easy tasks, someone reliable who can step in for you for an hour here or there to give you some respite.
- Tell your client/loved one that you need a few moments to yourself now, so you can continue to provide good care later.
- Get a few minutes per day of quiet time with no phone/computer/radio/talking).
- Avoid too much junk food or alcohol.
To recover from burnout:
- Drink lots of room temperature water.
- Eat a light, nutritious snack.
- Sit or lay down in a quiet and comfortable place with lights low or off. Elevate your feet, if possible.
- Breathe deeply and very, very slowly; in through your nose and out through your mouth 10-50 times.
- Give your mind a break from noise with a few minutes of quiet.
- Do a few simple stretches to help relieve tension in your body.
- Take a walk around the block once or twice or do 50 deep knee bends, leg lifts and/or jumping jacks.
In honor of we who give so much to others throughout the year there has been a very special honorarium created just for you. Visit CertifiedCare.org for details and get their great PCA education programs at deep discounts now and for just a very short time.
Ask loved ones and clients to chip in to make it happen.
You deserve it!
We know that nobody works harder during holidays than caregivers of the elderly. We hope this helps you out. THANK YOU CAREGIVERS.