Taking care of a loved one who was injured in an accident isn’t easy. When the accident first happens, it might seem like the care will be manageable. As time wears on, you may start to suffer from caregiver burnout. This is due to the stress of always having to be the strong one.
The duties that caregivers handle are physically demanding. Often, you will have long hours of caretaking duties with your loved one. This might be on top of a regular work schedule if you are able to work at all. Here are some tips for handling caregiver duties while minimizing stress.
When a loved one suffers a catastrophic injury, the duties of the caregiver are going to last a long time. The impacts of these duties are cumulative, so they grow until the pressure can seem overwhelming. Because some caregivers don’t get breaks from their duties, they never have a chance to relax and recover from the toll of a relentless workload.
It is true that the duties of a caregiver are a labour of love. Still, it is imperative that caregivers are also taking care of themselves. There is an old saying that you can’t pour from an empty cup. This translates well to this situation because you can’t make sure your loved one’s needs are met if your own is not.
On top of feeling stressed out all the time, you might notice other symptoms. Feeling physically ill and getting sick a lot can be common. You might experience headaches. Sometimes, depression and anxiety set in. Loneliness is another common symptom that caregivers will experience.
You have to take time for yourself if you are a caregiver. If possible, use the respite care program in your area so that you can take some time to do things that you enjoy. The time that you spend on yourself shouldn’t be used to care for your loved one or your home. Go see a movie, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy watching the scenery, or go for a walk with a friend. Use this time to refresh yourself so that you are ready to get back to your duties. If the burnout continues, you might need to seek professional assistance with the duties and for your own mental health.