Being a caregiver for a loved one can be a demanding and stressful job. It’s also a job that can take a huge toll on the caregiver’s mental and physical well-being. If you don’t take the necessary steps to stay healthy, you could quickly become burned out — but how can you know if it’s happening to you? If you find yourself saying any of these things, you may be experiencing burnout.
1 ) “I just want to be alone.”
One of the most common signs of caregiver burnout is wanting to be alone and away from family and friends. Being a caregiver can be stressful and even draining. It’s okay to have alone time, but when you start to isolate yourself from your loved ones, you could be experiencing burnout.
2 ) “I’ve had the same cold for weeks now.”
Stress weakens the immune system. If you have a cold or any other illness that lasts longer than it should, your immune system is compromised. Your immune system needs time to build back up to fight attacks. If you can’t get the appropriate amount of rest, you’ll stay sick and compromise both your health and your ability to care for your loved one.
3 ) “I used to love running, but I can’t get excited about it anymore.”
A disinterest in hobbies is also a sign of caregiver burnout. Normally, you would have been excited to read a new book by a favorite author or take a morning run. If you can’t think of the last time that you enjoyed one of your hobbies, it might be time to take a moment for yourself because you’re burned out.
4 ) “I feel like my eating/sleeping habits are off.”
Abnormal eating or sleeping habits is a sign of burnout. Stress can cause your appetite to be suppressed, so you may not be eating as much. Some people eat more when they’re stressed. So whether it’s eating too much or not enough, an abnormal eating pattern can be a signal that you’re strained.
5 ) “I’m so overwhelmed with taking care of my loved one. Sometimes I think about just ending it.”
If you ever experience suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming your loved one, you are experiencing extreme burnout or maybe even depression. This is a very dangerous warning sign and you should seek help immediately from a mental health professional.
CareFirst Is Here to Help
CareFirst understands the stress that caregivers can experience. The best thing to do when you’re burned out is to get assistance. CareFirst is here to provide assistance to caregivers. Contact us today!