Caregiver Burnout is a Major Risk for Both the Professional and Personal Caregiver
Caring for others, be it an elderly parent, a relative, a child, or a friend, is one of the highest forms of human service. However caring for others can mean that you set aside your desires and wishes for another day, a day when you’ll have the luxury of time to spend on yourself. It is a day you may dream of and yearn for!
The Process of Caregiver Burnout Happens Gradually
In the meantime, you give and give and give. You begin to wear down and out. Energy and enthusiasm wanes as you become physically exhausted and emotionally drained. It may seem that the more you give, the more that is requested or required of you. It becomes harder to keep up and maintain your pace. Your nerves wear thin. You begin to do less and less for yourself. Periodically you wonder, “Where is there care for me?” You may begin to ask: “What’s happened to me, to my life?” Worse yet, you may feel guilty for having those thoughts!
Caregiver Resentment, fatigue and Burnout
A continuous outflow of energy through giving without refueling or replenishing yourself cannot possibly end up anywhere but in fatigue and burnout. It is then that resentment can set in not to mention damage to your own health. It is essential to stop and refuel in order to keep going with balanced goals of effective care and maintenance of your own health and well-being.
We are adaptable and it may seem that we can run on empty but the truth is that the bill for that will eventually come due. Good self care is truly the only way to assure a reserve of energy to care for others and remain healthy. Regular self care and self nurture is essential to create the inner resources that allow for a constant and even flow of energy for both you and the ones you love.
What is one change you could make today that would help bring more self-care into your day/week/month?
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