Being a caregiver to an individual who has a terminal illness or a chronic disability can be a stressful, physical and emotional challenge. Many times caregiving lasts years and is provided by a close family member. Caregiving is about helping another person live as comfortably as possible and to do this you need to prevent burnout. Being a caregiver is a 24/7/365 job which is why you need to ask for help and prevent your own health declining. Here is what you need to know about caregiver burnout and some ways to alleviate your stress and symptoms:

Some signs of burnout:

Heightened anxiety

Increased irritability

Loss of sleep


Catching every cold

Neglecting social interaction outside of caregiving

These are some of the common signs of burnout or caregivers. If you feel you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of burnout start to make a change immediately! Your health,  both physical and mental depend on it.

How to alleviate burnout:

1.Take time for you. It is ok to ask for help and take a break to do something for you such as read a book, do yoga or get a massage.

2.Reconnect with the person you are providing care to. When you start to feel resentment towards the person you are caring for it is time to refocus and reconnect.

3.Soak in the sun: brief walks in the sunshine throughout the day can make a big difference. It is rejuvenating for the mind and body.

4.Take care of your health through exercise and diet. Boosting your immune system gives you more energy and releases endorphins.

5.Say YES! If someone offers to help let them.

There are many ways to alleviate the symptoms of caregiver burnout. If you are feeling depressed or are chronically ill it is time to seek professional help. Caregiving is a very difficult but rewarding job. Make sure to take care of yourself so you can continue to provide that care

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Clarke Staton, CMT

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