January 16, 2015

Practicing breathing exercises can help caregivers de-stress and relax.

Have you experienced caregiver burnout?

Burnout can be defined as exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress.

Our friends at the ALS Association share the following information to help you identify the common symptoms of caregiver burnout and strategies to prevent it.

Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout

  • Health problems such as fatigue, headaches, backaches, lethargy, high blood pressure or frequent insomnia
  • Substance abuse such as an increase in the consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs, cigarette smoking or caffeine
  • Poor performance such as being less productive or experiencing a lack of enthusiasm, feelings of fear or an inability to concentrate
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Depression

If you believe you or someone you love is experiencing caregiver burnout, the following tips are things you can do to help manage or prevent it.

  • Take care of yourself – Eat a nutritious diet, get sufficient rest and exercise routinely
  • Practice stress reducing strategies – Breathing exercises, yoga, massage, meditation or Tai chi are examples of strategies you can use to reduce stress
  • Develop a strong support system – Surround yourself with supportive friends/family or attend a support group where you can share your concerns and feelings
  • Create a fulfilling life – Acknowledge your priorities and actively build your life around them

As a caregiver, it’s important to take care of yourself so that you can be at your best to care for your loved one.

For more caregiver tips and resources, visit Caring.com.