Let's see if this sounds at all familiar. Somewhere around 2 PM, your eyes feel as heavy as can be, and you're not sure how you'll get through the next hour of your day. You realize this happens more often than not, but you just can't put your finger on 'why'?
Do you go straight into the day's tasks when you wake up? And repeat this over and over and over again? You may have reached burnout, an overlooked stage and a critical one. A state of being that will crumble your immune system, blur your thinking, and irregulate your emotions.
As a caregiver, you may feel ashamed to share how you're feeling with others. After all, your responsibilities are important, and you wouldn't want others to think you cannot handle the tasks. 'Less than' – 'weak' – 'unable' who wants to carry those labels around????
So, you keep on because it's your role, your duty, and you're willing to sacrifice. But you cannot keep up this pace. If you fall ill, then what about your loved one?
Burnout signs to watch for:
You are ordinarily lighthearted and become snappy or anxious more often than not.
Cognitive problems sneak in when you've become overly stressed. Your memory may be affected, which stirs up another round of 'oh no's….'—adding to your anxiety.
You're not fully present at your job, or day-to-day tasks that were once easy for you to do are frustrating. Putting together an everyday meal feels like one of the biggest hurdles in your life.
So, what's the answer? Talking with others can be a huge help. Perhaps surprisingly enough, the simplest of things put into practice can also help.
Organizing can be an effective solution. Having everything in its place, making a list of things to do, and checking it off can be a lifesaver. Piles create anxiety, and you'll never find items. Searching endlessly for that one thing you KNOW you put in a particular spot – will drive you crazy. Make an hour on your calendar 2x a week for just organizing. Yes, even and perhaps most especially during the holiday season.
Adding something positive to your day is easy, but you must do it. Procrastinating and repeatedly saying, "I can't because…..". Stop.
You're an amazing human being; you can change your thinking and change your life. It may not solve everything, but the power within you is tremendous. Just head it in the right direction.