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Are you burning the candle at both ends as a family carer?

29 November 2021

Local News

Written byLisa Cable

Are you burning the candle at both ends as a family carer?

Or perhaps it’s gone a bit further than that – you’re completely charred.

Burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.” Burnout can happen to anyone, no matter what their age. It is our mind and body’s way of telling us that the stress we have in our lives is too much for us to cope with. Carers can be particularly susceptible to burnout. A Carers UK report found two-thirds of carers focussed on the care needs of the person they care for, rather than their own needs.

Burnout can be serious, leading to mental and physical ailments. How can you spot the signs? We share what to look out for.

Spotting the early physical signs

You’re probably used to having aches and pains as a carer. But if you’re experiencing a lot of pain or discomfort, you might be heading for burnout. The physical symptoms include:

  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
  • Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses.
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain.
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits.

How can you relieve physical stress? Anything that gets your body to relieve tension can help. It could be things like:

  • Releasing physical tension: Having a massage to relieve tension or listen to this short video on Muscle Relaxation Techniques.
  • Learn to unwind properly: Try breathing exercises or watch simple tips for better sleep.
  • Surround yourself with a calming space: Use soothing aromas for headaches and overall well being.

Spotting the early mental and emotional signs

So what emotional or mental signs might you experience if you’re feeling burned out? Well, you might experience some of the following:

  • Feeling irritated.
  • Struggle to concentrate.
  • Get frustrated more easily.

You could try:

  • Reduce or remove non-essential tasks: Are there aspects of care that someone else could do, even a volunteer?
  • Share with people how you’re feeling: It sounds simple but chatting to family and friends or confiding in work colleagues can help and make you feel that you aren’t on your own.
  • Look at areas of your life where you can free up energy: like getting shopping delivered instead of visiting the supermarket.

Are you simply taking on too much?

It can be hard to acknowledge or remember when you’re feeling these kinds of things on a regular basis, so it might be helpful to keep a diary. You can check the Caregiver Self Assessment Questionnaire to gain some further insight into burnout and the steps that you can consider to help. Remember, you’re never alone. Accessing help and support when you need it is critical and will prevent further health problems down the line.

Accessing help and support:

If you would like to find out more about Radfield Home Care jobs and how you can join the team, you can visit www.radfieldhomecare.co.uk or contact the office directly [email protected] or 01708 609 364.

Author

Lisa Cable

Lisa Cable

Director & Owner

An experienced business manager, Lisa oversees the operations and direction of Radfield Home Care Havering and Brentwood.

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