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5 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

By: Integrity Home Care + Hospice

As a leader in Home Care, Integrity Home Care + Hospice understands the great impact our Caregivers have on their patients.

Caregiving is a calling. It’s an act of service above self that impacts the lives of others in a way no other profession could. If you’re a caregiver (by profession or circumstance), Integrity Home Care salutes you.

While our caregivers often express how life-changing and rewarding their role is, it doesn’t come without a price. That price often materializes as something called burnout—which is defined as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

Whether you work for an in-home care agency like Integrity Home Care or you’re a caregiver for a family member—as caregivers your workdays involve tasks that require large amounts of patience, empathy, love, and understanding. All of these things can be exhausting to dole out on a daily basis and can lead to fatigue and job burnout before you know it.

And because as caregivers (by your very nature) you regularly put others’ needs before your own, it may be especially hard for you to flip that mindset and put yourself first once in a while.

Integrity Home Care Suggests 5 Caregiver-Burnout ‘Hacks’

Start practicing a little (self)caregiving with these five ways to avoid burnout. (Remember—as a caregiver, self-care is not only crucial to your health, but also to the health of those in your care).

  1. PUT IT ON THE CALENDAR. This may seem silly, but if you don’t schedule self-care into your day, it most likely isn’t going to happen. If, however, you see it, and it’s something that stubbornly remains on your to-do list unless you actually do it, there’s a greater possibility that it will become a priority.
  2. Find a support buddy. This could be a fellow caregiver or a friend in a completely unrelated field. The important thing is to find someone with whom you can be yourself as well as say what you feel and don’t need to worry about how it sounds or how it looks. Offering the same non-judgmental ear/shoulder in return can be therapeutic in its own way—allowing your helpful nature to surface without involving the fatigue that can accompany your daily caregiving routine.
  3. Identify three things that bring you joy. Write them down somewhere that is visible to you every day. Do at least one of these things once a week for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Get outside and give your happy hormones a boost. When you’re under constant stress, the hormones in charge of everything from pain-relief (endorphins) to appetite and sleep regulation (serotonin) take a pretty major hit. Research published from the National Institutes of Health shows that getting outside in natural sunlight for 10-15 minutes can jump-start your body’s serotonin and endorphin production, helping to repair the damage that high levels of stress can cause.
  5. Put your phone (or tablet) down at night. The blue light emitted from tech devices has been shown to decrease your body’s sleep-inducing hormone (melatonin). This effect delays your body’s natural internal clock, which will lead to a lower-quality of sleep overall. If you need something to ease yourself into bed each night, pick up a book for some non-blue-light emitting content that won’t disturb your sleep patterns.

Integrity Home Care Honors the Caregiving Role

At Integrity Home Care & Hospice, our caregivers are present at the beginning, middle, and end of our patient’s care plans and are vital to the overall quality of care we provide. We understand the mental, physical, and emotional burdens that come along with this role. Our team wants to ensure that whether you are a caregiver at an agency like Integrity or the primary caregiver to a loved-one at home, you not only know how important you are but also that you have the support and tools you need to keep yourself healthy and happy.