Caregiver burnout is when a caregiver experiences anxiety, fatigue, and physical ailments related to their caregiving duties. Caregivers of all varieties, from nurses to family volunteers, are at risk for having it. Burnout is usually the result of taking too little time to care for oneself. Caregiving for another is important, but it’s also important to take a step back and relax. Here are some ways to help do so.
1. Accept help from others. Accepting help from others takes some of the burden off yourself and gives you more time to relax and deal with your own issues.
2. Breathe in. Deep breathing has long been associated with relaxation. Taking a few minutes each day to just close your eyes and breathe deeply, can work wonders.
3. Turn up the music. Research shows that listening to music can have a calming effect. Pick a couple of your favorite songs and rock out to them to let off some steam.
4. Eat certain foods. There are foods whose nutrients have stress relieving properties. These would include avocado, salmon, nuts, and foods with Vitamin C.
5. Exercise. You don’t have to set aside an hour for an intensive workout session. Exercising for a few minutes at a time throughout the day can help lower stress.
6. Keep focus. Caregiving involves juggling many tasks and responsibilities at once. Keeping a neat checklist and focusing on one task at a time can help one keep focus.
Caregiving is not an easy job. No matter what, though, it’s always best to make time for yourself and relax.