Burning out when you’re a caregiver can be a dangerous situation. Caregiver burnout means that you’re asking too much of yourself and you’re not able to hold up under that pressure. If you suspect that’s where you’re headed, you need to take immediate action.
Find a Way to Get Some Time Off from Caregiving
The very first thing that you need to do is to step away from caregiving for a bit. If you’re already burning out, that’s not going to get better while you’re actively trying to be a caregiver. You may end up doing more harm than good, both for yourself and for your senior. Hand the primary caregiver responsibilities over to someone else for the time being.
Get Rigorous about Self-care
Self-care is what you’ve been missing and self-care can help you to get back to yourself. You need to be firm with yourself about this. Eat the right foods and eat regularly. Figure out why you’re not sleeping well and fix it. Assess what else you need in order to be healthy, happy, and whole and do what you can to implement that.
You Can’t Set a Time Limit on This
You might think that you can take a weekend off and get yourself back on target. That’s not how this works, especially if you’re truly burning out. This process isn’t one that you can rush or that you can make take only a certain amount of time. You have to give yourself time to heal.
Assess Whether You Can Be a Caregiver
One of the questions you might have to ask yourself is whether you can still be a caregiver after this experience. If you’ve pushed yourself too far, you might not be able to take on caregiving duties indefinitely again. None of that makes you a bad person or wrong, it just means that your needs are bigger than you realized.
Ease Back into Caregiving if You Can
If it turns out that you are okay to get back to being a full-time caregiver, take it easy on yourself. Ease back into your duties as a caregiver and don’t try to push yourself too fast right away. You need to be able to maintain your self-care plan while still being a caregiver or you’re going to head straight back into burnout.
Letting things with caregiving wear on you too much can very quickly lead to burnout. You need to take care of yourself so that you can actually care for someone else.