Providing care for a chronically ill family member can be incredibly challenging. It can also be an emotional roller-coaster, leaving the caregiver feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and alone.
Here are some suggestions for keeping your batteries charged and avoiding caregiver burnout.
Physical Self Care
Be patient with yourself and your feelings
Caregiving can take an emotional toll. Give yourself permission to laugh, engage in fun activities, and socialize. It's okay to feel angry, and even to cry. Telling yourself that your feelings are wrong can lead to emotional exhaustion and caregiver burnout.
Take time for you
One person can only spend so much time caring for others before it starts to leave them feeling empty and weakened. It's OK to ask for help.
Find support services.
Most communities have agencies and organizations to support caregivers. Support groups, counseling and respite care (people who take care of the loved one temporarily, allowing the caregiver to have a break) are more easily accessible than you might think. Avoid caregiver burnout by reaching out for support.