(n) A person who provides direct care to someone else; as for children, elderly; an injured family member/friend or the chronically ill.
I’ve seen you a thousand times. I’ve been you. Hearts as pure as gold. You tell yourself you got this. You don’t want to impose on anyone else. It’s your responsibility. You’re the fortunate one. They need you. The last thing on your mind is taking care of yourself. Who’s got the time? Well guess what, you need to MAKE the time. Why, because they DO need you. If you don’t…caregiver burnout is just lurking around the corner.
Caregiver burnout is not only physical exhaustion, but also emotional and mental. Do you feel like you are running on fumes most days? How’s your attitude? Is your mindset negative more often than positive? Do you have brain fog? Does every task feel harder than usual? These are some of the symptoms of caregiver burnout.
I know you feel guilty when you spend time on yourself rather than on those you are caring for. But eventually, this fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression is going to catch up to you. These messages your body is sending are slowly becoming chronic. Chronic stress leads to chronic inflammation which then becomes high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, decreased immune response, poor decision making and more. It’s a slippery slope.
Taking care of yourself is not a luxury or a reward for good behavior. It is necessary to continue doing what you do. Find a way to work in something for you each day. A friend of mine once said that she “booked” her self-care time in her daily planner and highlighted it a soothing color. She noted that just seeing the highlighted events reminded her how well (or not so well) she was taking care of herself.
Your self-care time doesn’t need a huge moment. It can simply be finding a quiet place in the house and having a cup of tea. We love Flying Bird Botanicals tea at Imagine Float. Hug your mug, feel the warmth. Inhale the aromas. Take a sip with your eyes closed. Let your mind settle and the chaos of your day melt away.
Maybe you have an unexpected opening in the day…skip cleaning the closet, skip the laundry…it will get done. It always does. Instead, make your way to Imagine Float for a 60-minute float therapy session. Let the saltwater bath wash away your stress. Give your physical body that momentary respite from taking care of itself. Fall in and out of slumber. Rest your mind. Allow your wheels to slow down. Come out feeling more rested than you’ve been in a very long time. Ready to take on the week ahead of you. If YOU feel good, those around you will feel good. It’s contagious!
Perhaps your body is sore, and you are feeling down. A single 3-minute whole body cryotherapy session at Imagine Float will turn that frown upside down and minimize those aches and pains. The cool air blown on the back of your neck will stimulate your vagus nerve (one of the nerves that connects your brain to your body) which in turn will trigger a relaxation response. You get an energy boost while feeling relaxed at the very same time. Not to mention your body will thank you too. Did I mention it only takes 3 minutes?
Caregiver however you choose to care for yourself, all that truly matters is that you do. Do what you can to avoid caregiver burnout. You truly do matter and those around you need you. Make yourself as much a priority as you do others. Everyone will benefit.
Michele Beaule, Your Biggest Cheerleader
For more information about our services, visit ImagineFloat.com or call today for a complimentary consultation 860.255.7771.