The caregiving demands can, most of the time, be overwhelming. Indeed,  a caregiver feels overwhelmed, especially if he/she feels he/she has limited control over a particular situation. If the caregiver stress remains unchecked and unaddressed, it can impact the caregiver’s health, state of mind, and relationships. Also, stress can result in caregiver burnout.

If you are a caregiver and when you experience burnout, it’s definitely tough to do anything, including taking care of someone else. This is the reason, taking care of yourself is never a luxury. Instead, it is a necessity. Undeniably, there are so many things to do to fight stress as a caregiver.

Caregiver Stress

HelpGuide defines Caregiver Burnout as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion” overwhelming and prolonged caregiving job causes. And, as you care for your loved one or your client, it involves a lot of stressors, as well. Since your job is more often than not a long-term struggle, the stress it produces can be specifically damaging.

Possibly, you will face many years or even decades of responsibilities as a caregiver. It can be specifically disheartening to feel hopeless that your elderly loved one doesn’t feel any better in spite of all your efforts. It is even more discouraging to think that the senior you are providing care is slowly deteriorating in front of you.

Whether you are a family caregiver or someone from an agency that provides care services, you must address the stress you are currently experiencing. The caregiver role you are portraying is vital in an older adult’s quality of life. So, you need to prioritize your own welfare, as well.

Signs of Stress and Burnout in Caregiving

If you know how to identify and acknowledge the signs of caregiver stress, you can start taking steps to address or solve the problem and avoid burnout. Also, if, in some point of your career life, you realize you’ve already had enough, act right away. Here are the most common signs and symptoms that you are already stressed and burned out:

Signs of Stress

  • Depression, anxiety, and irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • You overreact even to minor annoyances
  • Having trouble focusing on anything and everything
  • Overly annoyed on things
  • New or more severe health conditions
  • Abandoning or not fulfilling responsibilities
  • Overeating, smoking or drinking
  • Lessening leisure or relaxing activities


Signs of Burnout

  • Less energetic than ever
  • You quickly catch every bout of flu or cold around you
  • Constant exhaustion even if you just came from a break or long sleep
  • You ignore your own needs and take them for granted because you feel you are a busy caregiver
  • Caregiving job has ruled your life yet it offers you a little satisfaction
  • You cannot easily relax even if support is available for you
  • You’re becoming more and more irritable and impatient with your patient
  • There’s a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness

Tips to Consider

Don’t let stress beat you. What you feel right now is just temporary and it can disappear anytime. Here are some tips for you to consider, to fight that negative feeling:

1. Acknowledge that Caregiving is Your Choice 

Recognize the fact that in spite of any burden or resentment you feel, you’ve made a careful and mindful choice to provide care. To make that negative feeling a positive one, try focusing on the favorable reasons for your decision. Probably, you decided to provide care in return to your parent’s care while you were growing up. 

2. Exercise Acceptance

When you are facing the burden and challenges of caregiving, more often than not, there is a need to make sense of your current situation. Here is where the question, “Why” comes in. However, you can spend time and energy thinking of things you cannot change, and you don’t feel any better. 

If this happens, try to avoid negative emotions and feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, acknowledge and accept emotional support. It will make you feel good. Family members or friends are the best persons who can give you this support.

3. Recognize and Welcome Help

Prepare a list of ways other people can help you. More so,  let those particular helpers choose what they want to do to help you mainly. Say, a loved one volunteer to take the person you are providing care for on a walk or run errands for you for a few times in a week. Acknowledge and accept the support as they will help you deal with stress and eventually, burnout.

4. Reach Out and Connect to People

Look for caregiving resources within your community. A lot of them conduct classes specifically on illness like Alzheimer’s Disease or any form of mental health, and your patient is facing. Care services like meal delivery, light housekeeping, and transportation are usually available.

5. Picture How Your Loved One Would Respond if He Were Healthy

Imagine if your older loved one is not preoccupied with his pain or illness. He’d definitely feel the love and care you are providing. Keep reminding yourself that his person would certainly express his gratitude if he were able.

6. Have Your Own Health Care Goals

For instance, set personal goals so you can establish a good sleep routine. In addition, you must also spare some time for physical activities and eat a balanced diet. Most caregivers find it difficult to sleep. If you are having trouble sleeping, you should talk to your doctor.

7. Consider Respite Care 

List the names of family and friends who can run errands, watch your loved one so you can take a break, or bring you foods that will make you feel better. Moreover, you can explore out-of-home respite programs, too, like the nursing homes and adult day care centers. 

8. Pamper Yourself

Think of something that will make you feel better physically. Decide on the things that are effective stress relievers and spirit boosters for you. Indeed, lighting a candle and taking a long bath are two effective self-pampering activities. Additionally, flowers and soothing massage are other things that will surely make you feel special.

9. Exercise

Stress and exhaustion are two of your domineering feelings right now. Therefore, the last thing you probably want to do now is to exercise. But once you’ve started exercising, you’d definitely feel better. Undoubtedly, exercise is a powerful mood enhancer and stress reliever, so, target a minimum of 30-minute workout almost every day to boost your energy fast and quickly.

10. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Sleep

Cutting your bedtime short is definitely counterproductive. Every individual needs to sleep at least 8 hours each day. Typically, when there is not enough sleep, a person becomes moody, less energetic and as mentioned, counterproductive. So, you should guarantee an adequate amount of sleep always.

Be One of Our Growing Family of Caregivers

You should know your worth as a caregiver. This is the best way to relieve stress and burnout when you’re a caregiver.  By helping an individual understand his health problems, you can favorably affect his treatment decisions and his ability to adjust to the reality of being under care.

If you are someone who is still thinking of applying for a caregiving job, don’t be discouraged with all the complaints you hear. You’ll find no other fulfilling career than the one that lets you assist a person, particularly an older adult.  Be part of the pool of well-trained and compassionate caregivers of Innovative Homecare Solutions help you. 
We are the Live-In Care Specialists, and we pride ourselves on being friendly, competent, and dedicated to improving our clients’ lives. To know more about the services we offer and see what lies ahead of you if you become a part of our growing family of caregivers, call us at (630) 225-0100 or visit