Overly Caring Caregivers

You’ve read the title correctly, caregivers caring TOO much. Does this act exist? Is it realistic to believe people can be overly caring? Caregiving creates a hectic lifestyle littered with spontaneous panic episodes accompanied by feelings of gratitude and usefulness. Caregivers accept FULL responsibility for the well-being of another and become fixated on this task. Care provided by a third-party is subpar and lacks vigor, mindfulness, and competency.

Our empathetic nature is both a blessing and curse. Minds and bodies are exhausted creating safe, secure environments. We refuse the help of others by deeming them incapable. It’s this controlling nature causing adrenal exhaustion, depression, and stressful living environments. Why do we foster this unhealthy atmosphere? Why do we allow the care-recipient become a dependent? Why is our way the ONLY right way?

Empathetic personalities feel emotions of living things on a personal level. Their feelings become our feelings. The burnout phase occurs when caregivers are unable to separate their needs from the care-recipient’s needs. Denying ourselves deserved help creates inescapable stressful environments. Our bodies are constantly in the “fight or flight” stage and unable to manage stress. We suffer from adrenal fatigue similar to an athlete training for the Olympics. However, a caregiver’s stress doesn’t end after the event is won. It continues for days, months, or years.

Caring is not unhealthy, but the degree to which you care can wreak havoc on your body. Caregivers must realize…

  1. they’re entitled to a break even though the care-recipient is their primary responsibility.
  2. their care methods, while effective, are not the only solutions.
  3. relatives and friends are competent and can provide short-term care for loved-ones.
  4. creating a co-dependent isn’t healthy for the care-recipient.

Making decisions based solely on emotion results in fatigue, burnout, and an unsatisfactory care environment. Make decisions with your mind using logic and factual information. Realizing needs enables caregivers to effectively care for loved-ones without destroying their own health. Being empathetic is a great gift, but an overly caring caregiver will make the journey more stressful and less fulfilling. Step back and observe the situation. Listen to others and open your mind to new ideas. Caregiving isn’t a life sentence. It’s a life obstacle testing your mind, body, and soul. Embrace your experience. Good luck!