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.

woman carrying shopping bag walking with an elderly man with a cane

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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