Caregiver burnout is a serious concern affecting more people than you would think. Caregiving may be a part of their job description such as doctors, nurses, or babysitters/nannies. It could also be a role they are fulfilling such as individuals caring for their spouse, their children, or their parents. Everyone you know, including yourself, are most likely caregivers in one way or another.
What is caregiver burnout?
Burnout happens when there is no time for the caregiver to care for themselves, resulting in a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. This can be detrimental to the caregiver, as well as the person or people the caregiver is caring for.
What does caregiver burnout look like?
The caregiver may start to withdraw from family and friends and become more isolated. They may start to lose interest in activities they previously enjoyed, perhaps due to the lack of available time in the day. They may even become depressed and overwhelmed with feelings of hopelessness and helplessness because they feel like they can’t reach out to anyone for support.
Life as a caregiver is tough, but what can they do about it?
One of a few solutions is to get the body moving! When we are exercising our body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins trigger happy and positive feelings in the body. Through regular exercise and movement, our bodies will continue to produce endorphins, reducing stress, feelings of anxiety, depression and increasing self-esteem.
Don’t have a gym membership? That’s fine!
It isn’t necessary to be vigorously working out to produce endorphins. Going for a quick daily walk can be just as effective. The fresh air and open space helps to clear the mind and calm the nerves. Doing bodyweight exercises such as squats, push-ups, sit-ups, or walking up and down stairs will increase your heart rate as well. Daily chores such as vacuuming, gardening, cleaning and moving furniture count as exercise too! So don’t feel bad if you didn’t get a walk or run in today.
There are many ways to destress and clear your mind, however getting some exercise is the most effective for myself. If you feel like you’re burning out, try getting your body moving. You’ll be surprised at how much it can help!