Do you have caregiver burnout? Would you know if you did? Caregiver burnout is a form of exhaustion stemming from the care of another person. It can affect you emotionally or physically. You can become indifferent to your parent’s needs, develop stress and anxiety, or enter a depression.
It’s important to recognize the signs of caregiver burnout. If you recognize the signs and take action as soon as possible, you can often get back to feeling like yourself.
Feeling Mixed Emotions.
If you feel sad all the time, you could well have caregiver burnout. Overloaded emotions are common. You might feel really down for days and switch to irritability. You start to take out your frustrations on your friends and family.
Relying on Alcohol.
To feel happy, you’re drinking every night. You keep drinking until you feel giddy. You keep going to make sure those feelings remain. When the buzz wears off, you feel worse, so you have to keep it going or deal with the lousy feelings as you sober up.
Withdrawing From Things You Enjoy.
You’re spending every hour you can spare caring for your mom or dad. As a result, you stop going out with friends. You’re coming up with excuses when they want to get together.
Feeling Emotionally and Physically Drained.
You’re always tired. You don’t want to get up in the morning. You go to bed early at night and still can’t get enough rest. You don’t feel like you could handle that one more thing that’s heading your way.
Thinking of Death.
You love your mom or dad, yet you find yourself thinking about how much easier it will be when they die. This makes you feel like a horrible person. You feel guilty that a thought of that nature would even enter your mind.
If you don’t think about your parent dying, you may think about how much easier it would be if you were dead. You’d be free of watching your parent’s slow decline. Again, you start to wonder how you could even think that.
Family care is a realm that you enter without emotional or physical training. Caring for an aging parent is hard. It’s not like caring for your child. You have time to set boundaries as your child grows. Your parent was the boss and won’t always appreciate you coming into the family home with rules and daily requirements.
The best way to avoid burnout is by taking breaks. Don’t wait until you’re feeling overwhelmed. Schedule respite care services to ensure you have days off. On those days off, go out with friends, go to a caregiver support group, or relax in a quiet room. Senior care professionals can take over care while you take a much-needed break.