How to avoid burnout when caring for a loved one with cancer
Who is a Caregiver?
A caregiver is anyone who tends to the needs and concerns of a loved one during their cancer journey. When caring for a loved one with cancer, caregivers often assist with daily tasks, doctor’s appointments, transportation, nutrition, or personal cares.
What is Caregiver Burnout?
Caregiver burnout can sneak up when least expected, placing the mental health and well-being of the caregiver at risk. Burnout signs to be aware of include:
- Lack of energy
- Substance abuse
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Depression or mood swings
- Changes in eating habits
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Irritability, restlessness, and argumentative
- Feeling hopeless
Caregiver Burnout Hacks
- Do not ignore burnout symptoms, it doesn’t make them go away! Consider starting a journal to express thoughts and feelings. Letting the words flow on paper can be very therapeutic.
- Reward yourself for doing a great job with something you enjoy, every week. Shop, binge your favorite TV show, get a manicure, take a nap, or spend time with friends.. Don’t feel guilty for taking a break from caregiving duties.
- Healthy stress relievers can help channel anxiety and stress around caring for a loved one with cancer. Walking, yoga, boxing, sitting in the sun, or visiting the spa are all healthy relievers of stress.
- If being a caregiver is too much, do not feel ashamed. Caregiving isn’t for everyone! Finding reliable care for your loved one is a healthy caregiver burnout hack. If you need assistance finding reliable care, contact NCS.
You are doing amazing work for your loved one with cancer. Being a caregiver is not an easy job. Pat yourself on the back and then take a much needed break.