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Signs You May Need Help

I recently spoke with a caregiver who found themselves in the ER with breathing problems. So many possible causes, from allergies to heart conditions. It turns out, thankfully, that this was an early warning sign of stress and it’s repercussions. Not something they wanted to have, of course, but a warning sign is something you can act upon versus finding yourself with a severe illness.

While caring for a loved one, you process so many things throughout your days, from tasks to emotions, that it is easy to get caught up without seeing underlying health issues yourself. We talk about self-care with a delicate sense of understanding from personal experience on how difficult that can be. Your loved one, your family, your job, your home, your laundry, grocery shopping…you can almost feel your heart racing just reading this, can't you?

Here are signs of burnout/stress to be aware of:

  • Fatigue

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy doing

  • Feeling resentful

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Loss of sleep

Whether your loved one is near or far, or how involved you are in the role of caregiving, these are only a few of the things that can creep up without warning signs. Before you know it, they can become overwhelming.

Underlying emotions that are bubbling without notice of the effects are significant. Finding ways to heal yourself can prevent severe illness and allow you to continue caring for your loved one.

Here are some ideas to give yourself more balance:

  • Accept that you cannot control or change the outcome of everything happening. So easy to want to but so very difficult to do.

  • Be aware of your reactions and find ways to balance them (for your health and the overall emotional balance in your home).

  • Often you won't get the external 'thank you’s' that you deserve, so journaling is a great way to reflect and release emotions.

  • Pamper yourself; take a long bath, get out of the house, even for a short time for a walk or coffee with a friend.

  • Share your feelings by journaling - insights can come through and be a significant gift for you.

  • Keep up with your doctor's visits and tell them everything you are experiencing. Stress can cause emotional and physical harm - please don't overlook this.

Please don't wait until it's too late.


Cyndi Mariner

Breathing Spaces

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