3 caregiver burnout tips that will make a huge difference in how you feel and your ability to keep pushing through.
Today sucks. I just need to breathe it out and keep going. But honestly, I don’t think I can.
I feel off. Not at all like myself.
- I’m agitated over stupid things that I would normally brush off.
- My emotions are all over the place.
- This morning’s encounter with that nurse’s snappy attitude made me want to punch her in the face.
This is a dangerous place for me to be in. I have no energy, no motivation and I can feel the anxiety sitting like a rock on my chest.
There have been times like this all throughout our journey. Unfortunately, it seems to be part of the deal when cancer explodes into your world.
Caregiver burnout is real and you don’t always see it coming. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise.
It’s hard to get up in the morning and be excited about the day when you know you’re going to spend it running from doctor to doctor. And it’s even more difficult if today is already shaping up to suck.
It’s exhausting in the midst of stress and the intensity that cancer brings to keep your head in the game and stay motivated.
The truth is everyone has bad days, bad weeks, and bad times. But, this disease elevates your stress level and leaves you running on empty.
And while you’re in this space, just trying to get through the day, the world seems to reward you with more nonsense.
You know what I mean, a middle of the night emergency room trip, a few days in the hospital, a new and intense side effect wreaking chaos…
It feels like you can’t catch a break.
You don’t deserve to be in this place. No one should have to go through an ordeal like cancer.
So how do you “just keep going” when everything sucks? You need real caregiver burnout tips that will actually help you.
About a week and a half ago, I hit the brakes on my ability to “just keep going” and here’s what I did…
First, I Took a Hiatus.
I took the weekend off and I did what I wanted to do (which I should warn you wasn’t much).
- I stayed in my pajamas (and when I showered, I just changed into clean pajamas).
- I watched movies that made me cry and read books that made me laugh.
- Played games with the kids and ran around with the dog in the backyard (okay, she ran, I watched!)
- Relaxed and didn’t do anything that I “had to do.”
- I got to enjoy the weekend doing whatever I wanted to do (which was basically nothing in my pajamas) while my husband and the kids made dinner and took care of anything else that had to be done.
I know you’re thinking you don’t have time for this, but you take a break from everything else in your life… work, kids, husband…
You have to take a break from cancer.
And if you’re struggling to find someone to cover for you, or you don’t have anyone to help, make it an event for everyone.
You and your loved one should plan a weekend to recharge together…
- Stay in your pj’s.
- Order take-out for dinner (or grab an easy and delicious crockpot meal so you don’t have to cook).
- Ignore your to-do list (trust me, it will still be there on Monday).
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Next, I Found Some Perspective.
All throughout the weekend, the universe was sending me little signs. I feel like that’s always happening to me, but because I’ve been in such a funk, I haven’t really been seeing them lately.
- The laughter and conversation during family game night.
- The excitement of the dog chasing a squirrel in the backyard.
- The end of a sappy movie when everything comes together.
- The suspense of a great book that you can’t put down.
- And of course, that amazing grilled cheese dinner that I didn’t have to make myself!
These moments are what life is about.
I am 100% about getting in there and doing the hard stuff. But life is really about these small meaningful moments with the people you love.
One of the best caregiver burnout tips anyone can give you, sometimes you need to stop running around and enjoy days like these to remember that.
Finally, I Planned Things.
It’s human nature. We need things to look forward to. Light at the end of the tunnel.
Why are we doing this if there’s nothing to look forward to?
Cancer feels like an incredibly long tunnel and you can’t always see the light. The light is there, but things can seem pretty dim sometimes.
You’ve got to bring your own light.
I thought about the things I’ve been skipping lately, the things that mean a lot to me. Things like game nights with the family, a new book I really want, or a new restaurant that my mom and I really want to try. Or, how about meeting up with my friends who I desperately miss and haven’t seen in months.
So, I sprinkled a few “small things” (which in life are really the big things) to look forward to over the next few months…
- Coffee dates with friends
- Extra family time
- New Teen Sci-Fi books ( I know that’s not just me!)
Things to look forward to and get excited about. Something to keep me inspired and motivated to keep fighting. You need that, in cancer and in life.
It gives you the fire to keep going.
My Caregiver Burnout Tips Result.
After that weekend, things aren’t perfect by any means, but they are much, much better.
This situation feels more manageable. It feels like I can do this. And, I haven’t felt like punching anyone in the face all day. 🙂
I wouldn’t say I’m fixed, but things are starting to look up. These caregiver burnout tips will help you get through when everything sucks.
I know it’s not always possible to take a weekend off. But, you have to make YOU a priority.
Maybe you start with a few hours or a day. Or, reach out to a friend, a relative, or a neighbor who can give you a full weekend to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
And if not, you and your loved one should do it together. C’mon, EVERYONE in this situation needs a break. Your loved one needs this as much as you do.
Take a weekend off from cancer.
Do the things you want to do. Rest and recharge.
You won’t believe the difference one little weekend can make. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel.
What are your favorite caregiver burnout tips to take a break from all this cancer business?
P.S. If you have no idea how to deal with a cancer diagnosis, we can help you formulate a plan.
- Talking with your insurance company.
- Finding resources that will actually help.
- Dealing with the fear, anxiety, and overwhelm of this whole situation.
We can’t control the cancer, but we CAN show you how to manage this crisis.
And it’s 100% FREE when you sign up for our weekly emails (which are packed full of tips, inspiration, and ways to cope with this situation from someone who is living it).
P.P.S. If what you’re feeling is beyond a weekend fix, we get that too. Talkspace is a custom based therapy plan that works AROUND your life and your circumstances. Unloading some of the stuff you’re carrying around, may be exactly what you need to get your head back in the game.
You don’t have to worry about being overheard or having to go somewhere to get help, because everything is done from wherever you are and it can be done by text. They take some insurances so it would be worth it to see if you qualify.
Talkspace can help you find real ways to cope with the incredible stress flying at you.
The stress and anxiety will eat you alive and you feel like you can’t escape. You have to unload some of this stuff you’re carrying around.
You’ll be surprised how much better you feel once you get it off your chest.
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