How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

Being a caregiver is rewarding, but it can also be exhausting. It is important you take care of yourself for the benefit of you and your loved one. Use these tips to get the support you need so you don’t tire yourself out:

  • Say "yes" when someone offers to help: Don't be shy about accepting help. Keep a list of small tasks that others can easily help you with, like picking up medicines, or helping run errands
  • Ask for help when you need it: Friends and family don’t automatically know how you are feeling
  • Share the responsibility: Assign specific tasks to others, like driving your loved one to shop for groceries
  • Take time for you: If it's possible, ask friends or relatives to spend time with your loved one each week to give you a break

Focus on Self-Care

Give yourself permission to focus on you. You owe it to yourself, as well as to the person you are caring for. Self-care practices will help you cope with the ups and downs of caregiving:

Learn and use stress-reduction techniques: Take a walk, meditate, have coffee with a friend.
Attend to your own healthcare needs: Keep up on your own doctor's appointments.
Get proper rest and nutrition: Being overly tired or underfed is no way to provide care.
Exercise regularly: Activity is not only good for your health, it's also a great stress manager. Talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program.