Caregiving is considered one of the most fulfilling adventures to undertake. While the hours can be long and the days can be hard, there is a true sense of purpose that comes from taking care of someone else.
Yet, these aforementioned qualities can also lead to a stressful work environment. With the heightened possibility of both physical and mental strain, caregiving can cause burnout. With this understanding, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the signs of burnout and know when it’s time to reach out for help.
That being said, here are six major signs of caregiver burnout.
1. All-Encompassing Fatigue
This is the kind of tiredness that feels inescapable. You have a complete lack of energy and can’t even visualize getting out of bed. When the fatigue feels overwhelming, it may be time to delegate to a team or in home care agency.
2. Disrupted Sleeping Patterns
Burnout often interrupts the flow of your own daily processes of living. This is most applicable when it comes to sleep schedules. Burnout can appear in the form of sleeping through alarms and losing a maintained circadian rhythm. It can also cause a fitful sleep with troubled bouts of insomnia.
3. Change in Eating Habits
It should be noted that a change in eating habits can be both overeating or undereating. This change in habitual feeding can also manifest in a noticeable change in appearance. If you find that your eating routine has been drastically altered, this might be a time to ask for help!
4. General Irritability and Mood Changes
When caregivers feel stressed and tired, this can manifest in an erratic emotional response. Many report that their burnout shows itself as general irritability, malaise, tiredness, or feeling blue.
5. More Likely to Get Sick
When you are working yourself ragged, you are often working your own immune system on low energy as well. Thus, burnout can appear in bouts of continued illness. If it feels like flu season is never-ending, this might be a sign to take a step back and take care of you!
6. Withdrawal from Family and Friends
When you are burned out, any form of interaction can feel daunting. The things that you once took joy in lose their luster. This greatly applies to relationships with spouses, family, and friends. Thus, feeling immense caregiver stress can often lead to a withdrawal from time with loved ones.