There are two types of caregivers. A caregiver takes care of someone who has a disability, a disease, or who is elderly. There’s caregiving as a profession, and there’s also being a caregiver of someone that’s a loved one, which is typically not a role that is compensated. Caregiving can be extremely rewarding, but it can also lead to burnout. As a caregiver, you have an incredibly integral job, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. An unpaid caregiver could be a partner or spouse, an adult child, or another individual that is close to the person that they’re caring for.
Caregivers can be responsible for many different things. They can be a friend or companion; they could handle a person’s finances, they can communicate with a treatment team of medical professionals such as a doctor, psychiatrist, case manager, or so on, and help them get out of bed or complete self-care activities. A caregiver might assist someone with personal hygiene, cook or clean for a person, help someone take medication or give injections, and more.
Caregivers have a heavy load of responsibilities and often work long hours. That’s why it’s important to avoid burnout and learn to care for yourself as well. Three important components of avoiding burnout are getting enough sleep, getting adequate nutrition, and getting out to do things that you enjoy. Make sure that you remember to eat both on and off shift and get the nutrients that you need and maintain good sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is extremely important because you must be well-rested to provide the care that you need to provide. It can be helpful to find a physical activity that you enjoy, such as yoga or taking a walk outside to get your blood flowing and relieve stress.
Here are some affirmations to remember as a caregiver so that you can stay mentally healthy. You need to take care of you, and part of that is positive self-talk.
- I can say no
- I don’t need to be perfect
- I’m doing the best that I can
- I’m setting realistic goals for myself
- I’m learning about my client and supporting them
- I accept help from other people
Remembering these affirmations can help you as a caregiver. Remember that you don’t need to be perfect or do it all and that everyone requires time to rest and relax. Remind yourself that you’re doing your best and say, “I’m doing the best I can at this moment.” Know that there are so many caregivers out there that are going through the same feelings and experiencing the same pressure that you might be.
As a caregiver, it’s vital to remember that you don’t have to do everything all of the time. It’s important that you’re able to say no to things. You’re caring for your client, but you’re not a superhero. You can only do what you can do, so it’s important to take breaks and to learn, respect, and assert your own boundaries. People need to know what your boundaries are so that they can respect them and operate within those boundaries.
When you’re a caregiver, it’s important that you have someone to talk to when you get overwhelmed or need to express your concerns. You should be able to vent to someone who cares like a therapist or counselor. Whether you see someone in person or online, as a caregiver, you deserve to talk to someone who cares for you.