Home caregivers have so many demands placed upon them that it’s no wonder they sometimes suffer a little “burn-out.” Like everyone else, they have their natural ups and downs, but home caregivers usually have to find a way out of the “down” state quickly.
With that in mind, these tips can help home caregivers find a little inspiration and regeneration when they need it.
- Carve out some alone time. It’s rare for caregivers to have alone time, but they need it more than just about anyone. It’s worth the effort of rearranging things to create a stretch of time — even if it’s just ten minutes — to just be alone in a quiet room with no distractions and no demands on them. If they can meditate, that’s even better — but if not, simply relaxing and feeling no pressure for a few minutes can be renewing.
- Improve the environment. Home caregivers don’t often have time to go the whole “feng shui” route, but if they can make small improvements in their space, it can sometimes make a big difference. Getting a potted plant for the den or finding soothing music to play while cooking or shifting a chair so that it gets more sunlight from the window can make one’s time at home more pleasant.
- Pick up the phone. Email and various online communication programs make it easy for people to pass on information to each other — but sometimes a tired or frustrated home caregiver can benefit from hearing another person’s actual voice. Calling someone, whether to chat or to vent, or even asking someone to drop by for a cup of coffee and a conversation can recharge tired batteries.
- Compliment yourself. It’s easy to fall into a trap of seeing only the negative: I forgot about Mom’s doctor appointment. I burned the toast. I should have known better than to leave the door unlocked. Everyone makes mistakes, but everyone also does plenty of things right. Home caregivers need to spend some time congratulating themselves for getting Mom dressed this morning, for keeping Dad from falling for that elder scam phone call, or just for putting away the laundry.
Home caregivers also shouldn’t be afraid to ask others for help. No one person can shoulder a caregiving burden by themselves.