Burnout/Caregiver Tips

I know some of you have been waiting for the follow up tips of how to work through burnout, so here we go. I can admit that I have had burnout and didn’t even notice it myself. I can remember a time where i found myself on auto in life a while ago and my life was going something like this. Wake up get the kids ready for school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, while their dad helped them with their homework, give baths, put them to bed, and then go to bed. ..REPEAT…And that was my life, now on the weekends we would do a little something but when we did i was pushing myself out of the house so the kids could have fun. I found myself on auto, I was just going through the  motions in my life, and although I love my family I wasn’t really happy I was just very numb. It sounds funny, but I felt like I had lost myself in my family, lost myself in the everyday. They became who I was and there was no more time for me to be me.

I forgot how to be happy, forgot how to be in a relationship, forgot how to enjoy my partner, forgot how to enjoy life, and most importantly I forgot how to enjoy me. Now while I am a huge advocate for therapy these are just a few tips for trying to get you off of auto and if you willing to do the work, they may work out for you.

1.Change- I know this is easier said than done but if you hate your job, look for another one. If you’re broke and only getting paid minimum wage but believe yourself to be worth more then get out of that slump and keep looking for a better job until you reach your potential.

2. Acknowledge yourself- Once you get into a routine of being somewhere you’re not appreciated you start to believe that you’re stuck there. But if you know what your true potential is and whether its in a relationship, job, or environment get there.

3. Get sleep-I know this is hard to do for many of you because on top of stress and everything else many of you are dealing with PTSD, but its so important to do. Its so important to rest at night, good rest. Try and tire yourself out during the day so you can sleep at night, limit naps during the day, and don’t do any daytime activities in bed at night.

4. Spend some quiet time with yourself in the morning. Give yourself a pep talk and motivate yourself to have a great day. And just take a lil time, meditate, workout, or do whatever you can do to bring yourself some quiet time and peace of mind before you tackle the day.

5. Take it one day at a time- We each deal with enough stress on a daily basis that there is no need to worry about tomorrow and what stress that day may bring. Just try and tackle things one day at a time heck one hour at a time if you need to. This will help you focus on the task at hand and try not to feel so overwhelmed.

6. Say no- You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. And if you don’t know what fun is for you anymore then find it. What I like to do is look at my cities activities page and do whatever is free. Take a pottery class, learn to fly fish, go dancing, now you may not like every activity but along the way you may just find something that brings you some joy.

7. Take care of you-Again I stress this because it so important when we are taking care of others, we tend to forget about ourselves. Make sure you’re eating right, drinking enough water, and taking care of your mental health. For me there is nothing like sitting on the water and fishing for a couple hours. After I go fishing I feel calm and that helps me tackle the next task.

8. Try the opposite- If you’re a loner try and find some friends to have fun with, and if you have a busy life then try and get some alone time. This will help you find yourself and get you out of your normal routine.

9. Lastly, learn how to manage your ups and downs. If you notice you’re in a bad numb place, shake yourself out of it even if you have to force yourself to get out and have some fun. I can recall many times telling my kids dad that I would be back, and just going out and going fishing. Even though it would be late I would come back feeling renewed. So do whatever may work for you as long as its a healthy option.

I hope that those of you dealing with burnout will try these tips out. Make a choice to help yourself, and start by putting yourself first in your life. Im not saying neglect your family but you can’t be a 100% parent, employee, etc etc if you’re working at 10%. Please start being more pro-active in your life because it may just relieve some of your symptoms. I wish all of you luck and can’t wait to hear about some of your experiences.

~Katherine~

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About

I graduated high school at 16 and joined the Army as soon as I turned 17, Both of my parents were In the Marine Corps so I knew I wanted to serve. During my last year in the Army, the attack on September 11 occurred and my job kept me in Germany, but a few good friends were able to volunteer. One good friend hung himself while deployed and the rest who returned were nothing close to the guys I used to know. I left the Army in 2003 and have finished all the required classes to receive my Masters in mental health counseling. I am just finishing up my last 3 months required for licensure as an LPC. I deal with trauma, helper’s burnout, sexual trauma, depression, and forensic psychology that brings together mental health and the law.

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This blog is for information only. It is not intended as a replacement for therapy. If you need additional help, please see a qualified therapist.