Recovering from Burnout while still Caregiving

You’ve noticed a change in your mood and temperament.  Your bright spirit is dim.  Avoiding social interaction has become part of your daily routine.  Happiness no longer compliments your face.  You feel lonely and secluded, almost depressed.  Caregiving duties are still being completed but not with the same vigor and enthusiasm.  Your fast-thinking logic has been replaced with slow what-if’sSound familiar?  Most caregivers can identify and empathize with these feelings.  These mixed emotions are warning signs of caregiver stress.  Ignoring these symptoms will result in caregiver burnout.  Trust me, I know.  Yes, there are ways you can prevent caregiver stress, but how can a caregiver recover from burnout while still providing care?

You’re overwhelmed, stressed, and on the verge of throwing in the towel.  I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE!  But walking out the door is not an option; you must continue the daily care regimen.  The patient’s well-being is dependent on you.  Once you begin manifesting thoughts of defeat, you’ve entered the caregiver burnout phase.  Burnout will cause a decline in your mental and physical health.  This decline will result in subpar care for your loved-one.  It’s the “trickle-down” effect and it begins with you.

You’ve diagnosed yourself with caregiver burnout.  How can you reverse its effects and still provide quality care?  You can’t do it on your own.  If you’re suffering from burnout, you must voice your thoughts and opinions to family members, friends, or the attending physician.  Reaching out is not admitting defeat.  You’re recognizing the need for third party help in order to successfully care for your patient. 

Instate a dependable support group to help with caregiving duties.  Recovery involves alleviating some of the daily stress that contributed to your mental and physical burnout.  Discuss ways they can help YOU cope with caregiver stress.  Don’t be shy!  Designate daily caregiving duties to dependable family members and friends.  Don’t know where to start when assigning caregiving responsibilities?  Read, How to Help a Caregiver.

Reaching the burnout phase takes time….it doesn’t happen overnight.  It sneaks up on you.  It’s difficult to recognize the symptoms of caregiver stress because your engaged and focused on providing quality care for your loved-one.  Ideally, a caregiver would never suffer from stress or burnout.  However, it’s part of caregiving’s brutal reality.  Trying to combat mental and physical exhaustion while still maintaining a stable environment is extremely difficult without proper support.  Being overwhelmed results in the deterioration of quality care.  

The most effective strategy for recovering from caregiver burnout while still caregiving is ASK FOR HELP.  Without help the everyday stress of your monotonous daily routine will continue to wreak havoc on your own health, creating a less-than satisfactory caregiving environment.  Ultimately you want the best possible care for your loved-one.  Allow them good quality care by taking the initiative to engage others in your caregiver duties.  Reaching out will bring success to your burnout recovery and allow you to continue your caregiving journey.  Did you find this post helpful?  Let me know by leaving a comment.  Feel free to share this post with anyone who could benefit from the information.  Thank you for reading and stay well!  

          

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Published by

ThePineyChemist

I'm just your average thirty-something woman, living in Small Town, USA. I graduated college with a B.S. Degree in Chemistry in 2008. While pursuing my passion for Chemistry, my life took an unexpected turn and I became my grandmother's 24-hour caregiver....for 11 years. During this time, I married and became a very independent woman. The Piney Chemist combines my love of Chemistry with eventful life experiences. It's Chemistry, caregiving, and me!

10 thoughts on “Recovering from Burnout while still Caregiving”

  1. Me again. After my father died, my mother needed care. It was an odd situation. My mother loved me, after a fashion. She just didn’t want to be around me for too long at the time. I got on her nerves. So my daughter, the one who loves me so much, stayed with my mother. I cooked some food and sent it over, but mostly I bought food for Mother. She wasn’t poor. Daddy had left her very well off. Mama had never been involved with the financial end of their marriage, and thought, with the help of dementia, there wasn’t enough money in the bank for food. Bless her heart. So Dessie and I took care of her. Dessie was on call 24 hours a day. Mother was very nervous. Eventually, Dessie was starting to wear down. Since she was born with a congenital heart problem, I thought it might be best if Mothers brother take over. It turned out to be a very good thing. My uncle and his wife placed Mama in a very nice nursing home (not like the home I am in) and she came to be content there. Mama died in 2007, and Dessie had open-heart surgery in 2009. Phew! So you are right! Burn-out doesn’t do the patient any good, and she is the person who is to be thought of primarily in this situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! Your story continues to amaze me. You’ve had so many experiences in your lifetime. It makes my stories seem….boring! Caregiving can be very stressful, especially when the patient has dementia. Sometimes, those observing the caregiving seem to be surprised when the caregiver becomes overwhelmed with their duties. I wanted “third parties” to realize that caregiver burnout is REAL, not imagined. You’re an exception. You observed the caregiver and made suggestions that benefited all! Thank you for your insightful comment!!

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  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    THIS REARS ITS UGLY HEAD MORE OFTEN THAN NOT. MY WIFE KNOWS WHEN I NEED A BREAK. MOSTLY, BREAKS ARE SPENT HERE, ON THE COMPUTER…OR GOING TO MY CELEBRATE RECOVERY GROUP, OR TO CHURCH….OR HANGING OUT IN OUR COMMON ROOM, AND ENGAGING WHOMEVER WALKS BY! AND/OR REGULARLY VISIT OUR ASSISTANT PROPERTY MANAGER, JOANNE, WHO LISTENS AND SUGGESTS THINGS—AND IS PLEASANT AND PLEASANT TO LOOK AT ! 🙂 NOT MANY OTHER OPTIONS FOR ME!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At least your wonderful wife recognizes your need for a break! I’ve found many folks could care less if you’re stressed or need a break! As long as you’re not interfering with their schedule!!😉 Thank you again for reblogging my posts! I’m very grateful and appreciative!😊

      Liked by 1 person

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