One of the most selfless acts you can do for a loved one is to care for them during their time of need. However, even though your heart is in the right place, your brain and body carry the burden of providing quality care. Caregiver burnout occurs when you become overwhelmed with the enormous tasks associated with taking care of someone. At Nye Health Services, we can offer help for caregivers. Don’t wait until you feel the signs of caregiver burnout, and utilize these self-care tips for mental health.
The Effects of Caregiving
Caregiving can affect both your mental and physical health. The emotional toll of watching a loved one struggle with their health can be heartbreaking. Additionally, your own mental health is affected because of the need to multitask a variety of tasks on a daily basis, including finances and care schedules. Caring for a loved one can also create stress within families, as each member tries to balance their free time with their care time.
Watch for signs of caregiver burnout, which occurs when someone feels completely overwhelmed by their caregiving duties. Signs of caregiver burnout include a short temper and irritability, reliance on alcohol or other medications to numb stress, and isolating one’s self from friends and family. If you see yourself, or another family member showing signs of caregiver burnout, it’s time to discuss self-care tips for mental health.
Five Tips for How to Care for Yourself
Putting yourself as a priority while also being a caregiver is a difficult balance. However, self-care tips for mental health and physical health can relieve stress and re-energize your life. Some tips for how to care for yourself while caring for someone else include:
- Exercise: Even though exercise gets your heart pumping, it also reduces a number of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. It also schedules time that’s just for you, which is critical to avoid caregiver burnout.
- Take Personal Breaks: It’s ok to take a break from a situation that is causing undue stress, and this is the same in a caregiving situation. If you’re truly at your wit’s end, walk away for a few minutes to cool off. You’re not failing as a caregiver if you need to remove yourself from the situation, and in fact you’ll likely come back with a clearer head.
- Prioritize Your Own Health: Make sure that in between doctors visits with your loved ones that you also schedule appointments for yourself, as well. Taking charge of your own health ensures that you’ll be well enough to handle the stress of caregiving.
- Keep in Touch With Friends: Isolation is common among caregivers, who feel like they’re unable to find time for their friends. Schedule time with your friends to catch up and chat, even if it’s just for a short amount of time. You’ll be amazed at what a great stress reliever laughing with your friends can be!
- Ask for Help: Create an open conversation about the topic among all family members. An excellent self-care tip for mental health is to lean on your family and friends for support, and that begins by admitting you are feeling overwhelmed with you duties. Suffering in silence is something that caregivers often put on their shoulders. Talk to your family and friends about the stress you’re feeling, and discuss ways to prioritize your mental and physical health. Knowing that someone is there to listen is perhaps the best help for caregivers.
At Nye Health Services, we know the stress faced by caregivers, and admire the strength shown by these quiet warriors. Contact our team today to see how services such as senior home health care can provide help for caregivers, and also allow your loved one to live their best life.