Caregiver Burnout, Reduce Chronic Stress before it takes it's toll
I have my days that feeling defeated and tired as a caregiver over 18 years has became my "normal". Some days the old saying “kick me while I’m down” holds true.
Maybe it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Many caregivers feel the same way, but don't want to admit it because we aren't the one that is sick all the time and we don't feel right to feel tired, worn down and stressed. But you know what? You are taking on a lot. Just taking care of someone else that relies on you to care for them is hard. The caregiver burnout is a completely natural feeling.
You, my friend, have the weight of the world resting on your shoulders. Which means the world you’re holding together needs a time out, you deserve a moment to breath and escape the pressure you're under. You are not being selfish regardless how others make you feel, they don't live a day in your shoes and will never understand how hard it is to keep a smile on your face and keep someone alive.
This life is not for the weak or faint at heart.
On the days when you are feeling that extra pressure, this is the day that you have to take a step back and focus on you. You have to.
I hear you, there’s no time for me today, my loved one is having a bad day, there’s a lot to get done. Sound about right?
Taking care of yourself doesn’t need to be a long, drawn out day where you’re hanging out at the spa living like a queen (even though that is more than deserving) or carving out time to go hang with friends.
Give yourself 15 minutes.
The days I'm feeling beyond stressed and close to having a nervous breakdown. I sneak outside to be alone. My family has since learned what I’m doing and to give mom a minute.
We’re about to shut down your chaotic mind for a bit. This is so important because too much stress, as caregivers experience almost everyday is actually really dangerous on your brain in the long run. Studies have shown that chronic stress affects many parts of the brain, which can put you at risk for many mood disorders and mental issues. Just to name a couple side affects is memory loss and brain fog.
By utilizing just a few of your senses and practicing a couple techniques helps stabilizes the tightness in muscles and helps release free radicals to relieve your brain from overload.
It took me several attempts at these techniques before I could fully appreciate the outcome of this routine. My mind was in a huge overhaul that it was difficult to learn how to get my mind to rest without it running away from me every time. Be patient if the first few times are an epic fail.
Head outside, I believe God made every thing on this Earth to heal us so it's not as effective inside. You need sweet mother nature.
Once your outside, sit comfortably in a chair. Close your eyes. Only focus on your surroundings.
Take an easy breath in, smell the air. Take in the air and maybe the sun kissing your face. Not thinking about anything else in the world, take the goodness of this feeling deep within. A feeling of thankfulness will take over as you are sitting right here in this moment in time. I think of laying on a hill full of flowers, feeling the warm summer breeze blowing.
Next, just listen to your surrounding. Are there birds chiming to each other? Dogs in the distance? Kids laughing? Whatever you hear, let it peak your soul. Smile because those are sweet sounds you are blessed to hear today. Hear what you want and block out any distracting noises.
This part is crucial. Connect with your inner self while sitting there with your eyes closed. Take it all in while still remaining relaxed. Feel your mind rest and really relax your body.
And only when you are ready, open your eyes and smile, YOU are alive and well. Feel the rejuvenation was over your body like you are ready for what's next. Whatever is next can't effect you. You are ready.
The road is long and hard. No one ever said it was easy. You have got to push through and do what you do best. You don't have a choice because you are their light in the dark. Wake up every day knowing you are a badass.
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