Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Caregiver

While caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, it also involves many stressors. And since caregiving is often a long-term challenge, the emotional impact can snowball over time. You may face years or even decades of caregiving responsibilities. It can be particularly disheartening when there’s no hope that your family member will get better or if, despite your best efforts, their condition is gradually deteriorating.

If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind—eventually leading to burnout, a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. And when you get to that point, both you and the person you’re caring for suffer.

That’s why taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Cultivating your own emotional and physical well-being is just as important as making sure your family member gets to their doctor’s appointment or takes their medication on time.

Learning to recognize the signs of caregiver stress and burnout is important, so you can take immediate action to prevent things from becoming worse and start improving the situation for both you and the person you’re caring for.

Caregiver

Feeling powerless is the number one contributor to burnout and depression. And it’s an easy trap to fall into as a caregiver, especially if you feel stuck in a role you didn’t expect or helpless to change things for the better. But no matter the situation, you aren’t powerless. This is especially true when it comes to your state of mind. You can’t always get the extra time, money, or physical assistance you’d like, but you can always get more happiness and hope.

Practice acceptance. Try to avoid the emotional trap of feeling sorry for yourself or searching for someone to blame.

Embrace your caregiving choice. Acknowledge that, despite any resentments or burdens you feel, you have made a conscious choice to provide care.

Look for the silver lining. Think about the ways caregiving has made you stronger or how it’s brought you closer to the person you’re taking care of or to other family members.

Don’t let caregiving take over your life. Invest in things that give you meaning and purpose whether it’s your family, church, a favorite hobby, or your career.

Focus on the things you can control. Rather than stressing out over things you can’t control, focus on how you choose to react to problems.

Celebrate the small victories. If you start to feel discouraged, remind yourself that all your efforts matter.

Share your feelings. The simple act of expressing what you’re going through can be very cathartic.

Prioritize activities that bring you enjoyment. Make regular time for hobbies that bring you happiness, whether it’s reading, working in the garden, tinkering in your workshop, knitting, playing with the dogs, or watching the game.

Make yourself laugh. Laughter is an excellent antidote to stress—and a little goes a long way. Whenever you can, try to find the humor in everyday situations.

Get out of the house. Seek out friends, family, and respite care providers to step in with caregiving so you can have some time away from the home.

Maintain your personal relationships. Don’t let your friendships get lost in the shuffle of caregiving.

From Caregiver Stress and Burnout

Caring

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How can I improve my self-esteem?

Self-esteem

“Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself as a person. Those with high self-esteem believe that they are adequate, strong and worthy of a good life, while those with low self-esteem feel inadequate and worthless. Low self-esteem can develop in childhood and continue throughout adulthood, causing great emotional pain. Therefore, it’s important to develop a healthy, positive sense of self.

Many people base their self-esteem on external factors, such as how much money they earn, how much they weigh and whether people like and appreciate them. If one of these external variables change, self-esteem can be broadly affected. For example, if your self-esteem is based on the fact that someone else loves you, then you risk feeling extremely vulnerable and worthless if that person’s love ends. By the same token, building self-esteem is not an easy task if you have been abused or have suffered years of personal or professional failure.

From http://reikouken.blogspot.co.nz

Building your self-esteem and creating a positive self-awareness comes from taking an inventory of your own strengths and abilities as a human being. Being at peace with who you are and what you have to offer the world is a major part of having high self-esteem. This “inner peace” does not mean that you are unaware of your weaknesses; it merely means that you accept who you are and genuinely like the person you have become.

From http://www.whisperoftheheart.net

You should think about yourself as deserving of attention, admiration and proper maintenance. Avoid the pitfall of paying too much attention to the happiness and well-being of others and too little to your own.

From http://imgfave.com/

If you struggle with low self-esteem, it is often helpful to connect with others with the same problem.


From http://www.self-esteem-experts.com

Beginning the inner dialogue about who you are and what you have to offer the world is an important process in building self-esteem.

Positive self talkFrom http://www.pinterest.com/

Talking to friends, family and colleagues can also be useful in further defining who you are and what you have to offer.

But remember that the most important conversation you have about self-esteem is with yourself. Become your own personal cheerleader. Don’t be afraid to celebrate even your smallest successes. Ask yourself what you fear, and search within yourself for ways you can cope with these worries and fears.

Talk to yourself like you would go someone you love.

From http://www.pinterest.com

Learning to know and trust yourself is a long but worthwhile process. Throughout life you may need to search within yourself again and again to find your own empowerment and strength.”

From Building Self-Esteem

BE HAPPY WITH THE PERSON YOU ARE!!!


From http://www.sodahead.com

 

12 simple suggestions for building confidence and self-esteem:

1. Make three lists: one of your strengths, one of your achievements, and one of the things that you admire about yourself. Try to get a friend or relative to help you with these lists. Keep the lists in a safe place and read through them regularly.

2. Think positively about yourself. Remind yourself that, despite your problems, you are a unique, special, and valuable person, and that you deserve to feel good about yourself. Identify and challenge any negative thoughts that you may have about yourself, such as ‘I am a loser’, ‘I never do anything right’, or ‘No one really likes me’.

3. Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.

4. Eat good food as part of a healthy, balanced diet.

5. Exercise regularly.

6. Ensure that you are getting enough sleep.

7. Manage your stress levels.

8. Make your living space comfortable, and attractive. Display items that remind you of your achievements or of the special times and people in your life.

9. Do more of the things that you enjoy doing. Do at least one thing that you enjoy every day, and remind yourself that you deserve it.

10. Do something nice for others. For example, strike up a conversation with the person at the till, visit a friend who is sick, or get involved with a local charity.

11. Try to spend more time with those you hold near and dear.

12. Avoid people, places, and institutions that treat you badly or that make you feel bad about yourself. This could mean being more assertive.

(By Neel Burton)

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