We always want to make sure our family knows we care about them. We may even become a caregiver when someone close to us is ill or otherwise unable to live independently. This level of closeness can be a huge sacrifice. It can create additional stress when dealing with work and family relationships. Research shows that assuming a caregiving role can be burdensome. Here are some ways to help deal with family caregiver burnout.
Make the paperwork easier
One way to relieve the emotional and physical stress that caregiving often induces over time is to organize paperwork. Compiling your loved one’s medical history, a contact sheet, and an up-to-date list of medications can save time. It can save hours of frustrating searches later. Then, give copies of the paperwork to your family members and keep extra on hand for doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
At times it may seem like an unending stream of little aggravations that can drive you crazy, but if you pick and choose what is really important, you spend less time feeling stressed.
Even though you may be the primary caregiver of your loved one, accept help when it is offered. Also, be prepared with a list of ways that others can help you, and let the helper choose what he or she would like to do.
Join a support group
You can receive help by joining a support group. People in support groups understand what you may be going through, and they can offer problem-solving strategies for difficult situations.
Set realistic goals
You can minimize stress by setting realistic goals and breaking large tasks into smaller steps that you can do one at a time. Prioritize, make lists and establish a daily routine.
See your doctor
Make sure you take care of yourself while you take care of your loved one. See your doctor to get recommended vaccinations and screenings.
Take time for yourself
Schedule time to call a friend or another family member to chat. Exercise, read, journal, or poke around your garden. Go easy on overindulging in certain foods or internet shopping.