Feeling hopeless and everything is out of your power is the number one contributor to depression and caregiver burnout. This can be a trap, as it can be easy to feel stuck in your position as a caregiver and unable to change your role. Remember, everyone has a choice. Whether finding a new caregiver to take on your current role or changing your state of mind. It is all a choice. You choose to be happy. You choose to feel hopeful and understand that circumstance are not forever and the more allies you have to voice your frustrations and those friends or professionals to talk to help you through your difficult times the better overall you will be.how to prevent caregiver burnout step 7

Get the appreciation you need

Feeling appreciated, even with little wins, helps keep you motivated even in a stressful situation. Studies show that those who feel appreciated experience greater physical and emotional health. However, what can you do if your patient or loved one is no longer capable to show their appreciation?

Give yourself a pat on the back! If you are unable to get validation for a job well done, acknowledge your time, effort and reward yourself! Give yourself a much deserved break, or a pat on the back. Sometimes caregiving is a thankless job but remember that you are doing a good job! As long as you are trying to do the best you can, given the circumstances, applaud your efforts.

Talk to a supportive family member or friend. Asking for help or the need for a pat on the back can help when feeling overwhelmed and underappreciated. It helps to turn to close friends and family who will listen and acknowledge your efforts.

Embrace your choice. You are a caregiver at this stage of your life for a person who needs the help. Acknowledge that you made a conscious choice to help this person and provide care in their time of need. You may feel helpless, unmotivated, or stuck. These are all normal feelings everyone has at times but focus on the positive reasons behind caring for this person. Maybe the person is a parent or spouse, and you feel obligated by your personal values to take care of your family. Remember the good times and you do not have to do this alone. Seek help in friends, families or professionals to help with tasks. Once you acknowledge that you agreed to help and have additional resources to fall back on, you may not feel as alone or stuck in your decision.

Focus on the things you can control. The serenity prayer comes to mind when discussing how one needs to focus on the things they can control.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”

This is a tough fact that you can not control everything. You can not change the course of an end-stage illness, or force other family members to help, but you can have the courage to find a way to change the things you are able and accept that not everything will go smoothly but you are present and doing the best you can. I am sure your loved one is very grateful for the help even if they do not show it.

Celebrate any size victory. Burnout can happen at any time or any place. Always look for a silver lining. Yes, your loved one is ill or have a disability that needs round the clock care; however, if you start to feel discouraged, remember that your efforts matter. You are providing a safe, caring environment to someone who feels vulnerable, scared or upset they can no longer have the independence to do things on their own. So remind yourself you are doing a good job and be easy on yourself. You won’t be able to care for another unless you first care for yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about 10 Tips on How to Prevent Caregiver Burnout, check out the links below!

  1.  Set goals, expectations and know your limits.
  2.  Understand the strength & limits of your patient.
  3.  Stay organized & Maintain a Balanced Schedule.
  4.  Engage in daily activities to promote health & wellness.
  5.  Eat healthy, maintain mindfulness, & engage in good sleep habits.
  6.  Find time for Self-Care.
  7.  Take a daily inventory of your feelings, accept and release.
  8.  Know your Community Resources.
  9.  Find a Support Group.
  10. Ask for Help.

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