Caregiving can be an extremely rewarding and satisfying career choice. While caring for others can improve your self-esteem and happiness, one cannot undermine another side of caregiving.
Many caregivers have been experiencing burnouts, stress and depression. In their pursuit of improving the physical, emotional and psychological health and well-being of others, many caregivers tend to ignore their own needs. Consequently, they end up feeling tired, overwhelmed, agitated and depressed.
As a caregiver, it is extremely important for you to take care of your physical and emotional needs to get through challenging times, which you will encounter on a regular basis.
Excessive stress, anxiety or negative feelings can take a toll on your mental, emotional and physical health and well-being.
For starters, pay attention to what your body is telling you. Recognize the signs of burnout, such as feelings of exhaustion or irritability; excessive stress, anxiety and depression; insomnia; health problems; feelings of despair or hopelessness and more.
Before you hit the breaking point, you need to find a balance in your life. Here are some simple tips to help you deal with the stresses associated with caregiving:
Remember, you cannot control everything. No matter how hard you try, some circumstances are beyond your control. Instead of dwelling on those things, focus on what you can control.
Set realistic goals for each day. Break down the bigger tasks into smaller steps. Make a to-do list and carry out one task at a time. Being organized can improve your productivity, efficiency and reduce stress.
Most importantly, learn to say no and do not feel guilty for saying it.
Talk to someone
When you are struggling to deal with your feelings, talk to a family member or friend. Several studies show that talking to a loved one can reduce stress. Also, consider seeking professional help if you are overwhelmed.
Take a break
Participate in activities that give you happiness and joy. From exercise or art classes, sign up for anything that can divert your mind from your job.
Meet your friends for coffee. Pamper anything. Take a long bath. Get a massage. These small luxuries can go a long way in reducing your stress and making you feel special.
Embrace your profession
Think of the reasons why you decided to care for others. Everyone has a choice. Acknowledge your choice.
Remember, every profession has its pros and cons. You made a conscious decision to become a caregiver. Own it. If you cannot handle the pressure, consider looking for another job.
Celebrate your victories
Your accomplishments, no matter how small, can change your thoughts, attitude and behavior. Whenever you start to feel discouraged, remind yourself of all your successes.
Caring for someone is no easy feat. But, the joy and contentment you feel when you make them feel loved and safe, it is priceless.
Eat and sleep well
This is a no-brainer. Follow a proper sleep routine, eat a healthy diet and exercise to alleviate stress.
About Global Caregiver:
At The Global Caregiver, we strive to promote quality of care and quality of life for clients, caregivers, and the industry as a whole by encouraging robust conversations with caregivers around the world.
The founder Beverley Shungu-Omba created The Global Caregiver Seminars to provide elite training, workshops, counseling, and coaching to individuals already working in the industry and those considering a career as a caregiver.