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Caring for Your Parents? How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout & Stress

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Becoming a caregiver for a parent is both noble and important, but it can also feel EXTREMELY taxing. In order to be able to provide them the all-important support – and not go crazy — you need to find strategies to ward-off caregiver burnout. Simply put, you can’t take care of others if you’re in crisis-mode yourself.

Caring for the people who raised you in their time of declining health is both physically and emotionally exhausting. It can quickly make you feel overwhelmed, like you’re the parent. While everyone is different, and everyone’s ways to handle stress are different, here are some of our favorite ways to bounce back from caregiver fatigue.

10 Ways to Fight Caregiver Fatigue & Burnout

You don’t want to see them cooped up in a nursing home, but you can’t deny that they need more and more help around the house. That’s the position so many people find themselves in when they take on the role of their parent’s caregiver.

Whether you’re becoming a caregiver for a parent or you’ve been supporting them for a while, having a stress reduction strategy in place is crucial for you and for them.

Here are 10 effective ways to rejuvenate yourself following the physical and emotional toll of taking care of your parents:

  1. Break a sweat
    After a long shift of taking care of your parent, exercise might sound like the last thing you want to do. However, if you can motivate yourself to get moving, the flood of endorphins can feel great. Plus, knowing you’re getting your body in shape feels good and boosts your confidence.

    Man running for stress relief

  2. Light exercise
    If you’re not excited to break a sweat, you can still get a boost from exercise endorphins in a low-impact way. Yoga or swimming are great exercise, but they tend to feel more like a calming meditation than a calorie-burning marathon.

    Woman doing yoga to prevent caregiver burnout

  3. Animal companions
    Our four-legged friends can work wonders for stress relief. Whether it’s a cat, dog, or horse, spending time loving on a pet can help melt your stress away. If you don’t have a pet of your own, make regular visits to a shelter or pet store — those animals will be more than happy to love you back.

    Playing with dog to prevent caregiver burnout

  4. Develop a new hobby
    One of the reasons for becoming a caregiver for your parents can be so overwhelming is that it tends to occupy your every waking thought. Starting a new hobby will give you something fresh to think about, replacing those nagging worries with something cool and fun.

    Making flower arrangements

  5. Grow something easy
    Sometimes it can be hard to see positive progress when working with your parents. That’s why the simple, reliable growth of a plant can be a great way to beat caregiver burnout. Whether you go with a full garden plot or just a window box, you’ll enjoy the watching the plant grow and bloom.

    Gardening supplies and wheelbarrow

  6. Make regular plans with friends
    When your parent’s health and medical routine takes over your life, it can be hard to maintain your own life and social schedule. We recommend that you fight off caregiver fatigue by making regular plans with your friends. Whether that looks like doing trivia night every week or making plans for dinner every month, nurturing your friendships is a great way to rejuvenate yourself.

    Spending time with friends to prevent stress

  7. Get lost in another world
    One of the major reasons for caregiver burnout is that it can feel like all you EVER do is take care of your loved one. Sometimes the healthiest way to unwind is to take a mental vacation by getting lost in a great series of books or TV show. Binge watching/binge reading feels great and it can be fantastic for helping you avoid caregiver burnout, too!

    Preventing caregiver stress by reading

  8. Meditate
    While it’s not for everyone, meditation has been shown to be a great way to rest an anxious mind and get ready for the day tomorrow. You can find tons of great intro guided meditations on YouTube.

    Meditation preventing stress

  9. Indulge in yourself
    When you spend your days caring for someone, it can feel like you’re neglecting your own needs. It’s important to take a day off every once in a while to pamper yourself. Whether that looks like a spa day or just a pint of gelato at home, taking a day JUST for you can beat the caregiver stress that comes with the territory.

    A visit to the salon for self-care

  10. Get help from a trusted in-home caregiver
    One of the best ways to beat caregiver burnout is to bring in reinforcements. Having another trusted caregiver to share the workload with you can make a world of difference. The professional caregivers of By Your Side In-Home Care perform a wide range of important in-home care services.

    Hiring a Caregiver for the Day

In-Home Caregivers Serving Lancaster & York PA

Whether you need round-the-clock care for your parents or you only need a few supplemental hours of support, By Your Side provides skilled yet affordable in-home care.

Our caregivers also have experience dealing with dementia and providing supplemental care to hospice nurses. We provide our services throughout York and Lancaster County PA.

Not sure what type of care your loved ones require? Take our in-home care quiz.

Ready to start the conversation about working with an in-home caregiver? Contact us today.

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