Caregiver’s of elderly parents are stressed. Emotionally, physically, mentally and in some cases spiritually. Even in the best of situations, it is hard. As a result, caregivers are at high risk for burnout. Burnout is much easier to prevent than to treat and today I am going to introduce you to two people who can help you reduce your stress: Cherie Miranda and Annie Born. But first, a little information on burnout.
Signs of Burnout
- Changes in your sleep or eating habits
- Increase in use of sugar, alcohol, drugs or tobacco products
- Increase in back aches or headaches and resulting increase in use of over-the-counter or prescription pain killers
- Irritability, impatience, increase in fear or anxiety
- Inability to handle problems or crisis
- Overreacting to criticism or everyday annoyances and accidents
- Excessive anger toward parents, spouse or children
- Feelings of withdrawal, alienation, being trapped, hopelessness
- Wanting to run away or disappear
- Inability to laugh or feel joy, loss of compassion
- Withdrawal from activities and from interaction with others
- Feeling alone even with family and friends
- Resentment towards your parents, spouse, or children
- Neglecting or mistreating your parents
- Wishing it would just be over with or wishing your parents would “hurry up and die”
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is time for a break and some help. Depending on the severity of your reaction, you may need to physically remove yourself from the situation and seek local professional guidance.
What To Do
As stated previously it is much easier to prevent burnout than to treat it. Why wait until you are miserable to seek help?
Annie Born has a gift for helping the caregiver (You) take care of yourself. She has a blog where she gives you the information and inspiration you need to take care of yourself. You should check out her site. You will be glad you did!
Cherie Miranda is a very astute lady. She also has a great blog where she explains about meditation, what it is and what it is not, how to do it and the benefits.
After watching a few online conversations she realized that caregiver stress is different from normal stressors. She knew she could help and she came up with the idea to make a special meditation just for caregivers! I am excited about it and even though it is not ready yet it is just something I think is very much-needed. I will let you know when it is ready! In the meantime check out her site. There is a lot of good stuff there.