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  • Writer's pictureCassandra Martin-Himmons

The Key to Avoiding Burnout: 3 Self-Care Mistakes Overwhelmed Family Caregivers Make





What mistakes are you making that are leading to more burnout?


Self-care is so important, yet it's often the first thing to go when we're feeling overwhelmed. But the truth is, taking care of yourself is the key to being able to take care of others.


And I'm not just talking about the occasional bubble bath or spa day (although those are great too!).


I'm talking about making intentional, daily choices to prioritize your own well-being. Trust me, it's a game-changer. So, in this post, I want to talk about the three biggest mistakes that family caregivers make that lead to burnout, and more importantly, how to avoid them because you want to be able to manage your stress before your stress manages you.


Mistake #1 Neglecting Physical Health




A stethoscope on top of a tan table.


As caregivers, we often put the needs of our loved ones first, leaving little time for ourselves. This can lead to neglecting our own physical health, whether it's skipping meals, not getting enough sleep, or neglecting regular exercise.


But taking care of our bodies is crucial for managing stress and staying healthy enough to continue caregiving.


Solution: 

Make a commitment to prioritize your physical health. Set aside time for regular exercise, even if it's just a short walk around the block. Make sure you're eating regular, healthy meals, and don’t forget to schedule your annual doctor’s exam. Your well-being is just as important as anyone else's.


Mistake #2 Ignoring Emotional Wellbeing



A woman in silhouette meditating on a deck


Caregiving can take a toll on your emotional well-being, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and burnout. But many caregivers push these feelings aside, thinking they have to be strong for their loved ones. The truth is, acknowledging and addressing your own emotional needs is essential for being able to give your best to others.


Solution: 

Make time for activities that bring you joy and relaxation, whether it's reading a book, meditating, or spending time with friends. Don't be afraid to seek professional help if you're struggling with your mental health. It's not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of strength to recognize when you need support.


Mistake #3 Ignoring Social Connections



3 African-Americans on the beach sharing a hug


It's easy to become isolated as a caregiver, especially when you're juggling so many responsibilities. But neglecting social connections can lead to feelings of loneliness and additional stress. Humans are social beings, and we need connection with others to thrive.


Solution:

Make it a priority to maintain and nurture your relationships with friends and family. Schedule regular social activities, even if it's just a quick coffee date or phone call. Joining a support group for caregivers can also provide a sense of community and understanding.

 

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury, but a necessity, especially for family caregivers. By avoiding these self-care mistakes and making intentional choices to prioritize your own well-being, you can decrease your stress, avoid feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and burned out, and continue to be the best caregiver you can be.


You deserve it, and so do your loved ones. Stay strong and take care of yourself.


You've got this! It’s all about Making Time.


Calling all caregivers! Are you making these self-care mistakes that are contributing to your stress and overwhelm? I've been there too, but I've learned the importance of prioritizing my own well-being. Head to stress coaching to learn more about how stress management coaching can help you overcome these self-care pitfalls and make intentional choices to decrease your stress and avoid burnout. You deserve it, and so do your loved ones.


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Let's talk: What are you going to do to help avoid burnout? Let me know in the comments section.


 
Cassandra in a floral jacket sitting in front of a white brick wall.

Cassandra Martin-Himmons, LMSW is a stress management coach and content creator who believes in empowering her clients to help them manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time she enjoys papercrafting, hand embroidery and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or YouTube

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