Burnout from the duties of caregiving whether you are a professional or non-professional can be inevitable if your actions are not regulated. The expectation of endless pleasure during the process of taking care of someone is unrealistic. But the choice to pursue happiness in and out of your caregiver role makes all the difference in the world. Below are steps you can take to find a happier you amidst your present responsibilities.
First and foremost, realize the beauty of your caregiver role. Go in with your “eyes wide open.” So, understand the responsibilities and make sure you are enjoying what you do. If you find yourself unhappy with any part of the position (there may be moments feeling overwhelmed), discuss your feelings with someone who can steer you in the right direction without giving you unrealistic expectations.
Seek Intellectual Chats with Other
Engaging in conversation and developing thoughts outside of your caregiver role will give you a refreshed perspective. Reach out to your partner, some friends or a loved one. Learn more about yourself, your concerns and fears, through others over a hot cup of tea or a mindless board game. Distracting your mind without wasting your time is the key to intellectual pursuit. The “ah-ha moments” come when you are not focused on the issue.
What do you desire most that you can’t buy or touch? How do you get in touch with your innermost self? Whether it’s within a religious/spiritual structure or at the end of a yoga session. Finding your core at the very heart of what moves you is intense and liberating. That connection also brings clarity and purpose to your choices. Listen to your needs and follow the path accordingly to find appreciation to propel you even further.
Power in the Solitary
Imagine yourself in a crowd, not knowing anyone and feeling perfectly at ease. Doesn’t that feel exhilarating and eye opening, yet it can feel shockingly lonely. Only in a crowd do you see how mighty you can be if you succeed in overcoming the feeling of aloneness. Understanding how small yet powerful you are from a higher perspective in the grand scheme of things is remarkable. And that is by far the most humbling human experience.
Don’t fear the time you spend with yourself. While you would think being alone would allow negative thoughts to develop and burnout to increase, having the time to focus on your needs and your needs only, will remind you just how important your personal satisfaction is. At the end of the day, it’s impossible to please everyone and fix the world’s problems; if there is anyone’s situation that should matter most to you, it’s yours. After all, you can’t take care of someone else without taking care of yourself first.
Keep moving! No one got anywhere without taking action. During the day, even 30 minutes of physical activity is enough to maintain alertness and positive energy. Explore the bike trails, basketball courts or coffee shops around your home – either alone or alongside a companion. The other side of staying active is recovery! Take care of your body by treating it to at least six to seven hours of restful sleep every night.
Radiate empowerment for those around you. Cheer on a future softball star at her game, offer encouraging words to a friend or follow through with a promise you made long ago. You will be surprised how encouraging others will empower you. On the other side of the coin, don’t forget to encourage yourself. Give yourself the affirmation you require. Every morning, remind yourself of the strengths you exhibit, and find the beauty in your flaws. After all no one is perfect.
If anyone ever warned you about the difficulty of juggling time with your family, concentration on your career, and dedication to the caregiving role, you soon realize how challenging it can be to find balance among the chaos. Taking care of yourself will help you reach a better state of mind and become a better caregiver.