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Signs that you are burnt out from nursing a loved one

By January 26, 2015 Fitness No Comments

Taking care of a loved one can be a 24hour, 7 days a week arrangement. Not only is it physically gruelling, it can be emotionally taxing. In fact research shows that caregivers are more likely than the general public to have a chronic illness; 82 percent versus 61 percent.

When nursing a frail or needy loved you can get so busy giving, that you forget about yourself until you are too stressed or burnt-out to carry on

Are you in trouble?  If you have any of the following symptoms, you should seek professional help:

  • Anxiety, depression, irritability
  • Feeling tired and run down
  • Difficulty sleeping even when you’re exhausted
  • Being bothered by minor irritations
  • New or worsening health problems
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Feeling resentful
  • Developing destructive coping mechanisms such as excessive drinking, smoking, or eating
  • Neglecting yourself and letting other responsibilities fall to the wayside

How to take care of yourself

Take breaks. No one can do it alone for very long before it takes a toll. If they are available, get community resources or hire someone who can come in for a few hours a week so that you have time to do something for yourself.

Spread the responsibility. Involve everyone in the family or your circle as much as possible. One person can take care of medical responsibilities, another with finances and bills. Younger members of the family can help with errands such as laundry and cleaning up.

Speak up. Don’t expect  your employer, friends, family members to read your mind, they may not be aware of how much stress you’re under.  Explain what’s going on with you and the person you’re caring for. You may be reluctant to bring up caregiving distractions at work, but being transparent will help you negotiate things like working flexi-time or taking leave.

Stay on top of your own health. Being busy shuttling your loved one to see their doctors, you may not have to see your own.  Make your own appointments for regular check-ups, dental visits, etc. and stick to them.

Find social time.  Being with friends or in a different environment will allow you to take your mind off the challenges you or your loved one may be facing. People who aren’t having the same experience as you could offer a different perspective or even have new solutions that could be really helpful.

If a loved one or family member has a chronic illness,  get a CenHealth account to organise their appointments, keep details of different doctors accessible, list prescriptions and tons of other information, so you don’t have to try and remember it all. Make your life easier and sign up today