Burnout is a common symptom of giving care for people with dementia. It takes a large amount of time and dedication to your loved one. While it can be easy to put yourself on the back burner, it's incredibly important to maintain your self-care. If you don't, it can lead to you feeling stagnant and stressed. Here are five tips for getting yourself out of feeling stuck.
1. Take care of your health needs.
Eat healthy foods and find time to exercise. Exercise increases mood and awareness, which is not only good, but for your loved one as well. Take a solo walk around the block or meet up with your friends. We provide a Memory Activity Class at the Senior Center which can provide you with time to get out and do those things that keep you healthy and well.
2. Find a new hobby.
It can sometimes be hard to get out of the house for long periods of time as a caregiver, restricting the types of hobbies you can have. Consider putting together a small vegetable or flower garden in your back yard or take up knitting. These types of activities can actually be used to engage your loved one, as well.
3. Reach out to your friends and family.
Maintaining your social groups is so important for your personal wellness. Schedule a weekly call with your friend or sibling. Consider stopping by the weekly support group at our office. These relationships can be critical to maintaining and sense of novelty and fun in your day to day life. Knowing that there are people behind you, supporting you and loving you, can be just what you need to keep you going.
4. Keep learning.
When we get to a certain age, our motivation for self-improvement may take a nose dive. Go to the library and pick up a current magazine, research article, or a book you've never read and spend some time in learning mode. If you're interested in learning more about Alzheimer's or dementia, stop into our office and pick up some literature. We have scientific brochures in addition to a diverse lending library. At the end of the day, time some time to reflect and write down one thing you learned. Those little successes need to be celebrated daily!
5. Embrace your choice & give yourself gratitude.
You're doing an amazing work and service for the loved one you're caring for. While they may not be able to thank you, it's okay to thank yourself. Embrace your choice to be a caregiver for your loved one and congratulate yourself for doing something so wonderful and selfless.
If you're feeling stuck, please feel free to contact us at the office to set up a care consultation. (435) 319-0407.