Caregiving, especially in its first stages, is difficult. The fact that you have to take care of someone more than how you take care of yourself because they have special needs is already hard. Another part where the hardship lies is when you have the tiniest knowledge about the work’s nature, demands, and expectations. These complexities will somehow overwhelm you; thus, igniting a lot of doubts, insecurities, and anxieties.
There is a very large chance that you will be burnt out from all the responsibilities that caregiving brings. Sometimes the demand becomes too much that it can compromise your well-being and self-care. Hence, here are some caregiving essentials that you should take note of in order to prevent work exhaustion.
Every caregiver must have an emotional support system, may it be a thing or a person. They are the ones who give sincere encouragement, provide genuine reassurance, and show real compassion toward you. Emotional support can be in the form of showing gestures of care and affection or expressing empathy through oral communication. This type of support is vital for caregivers because this can give you the motivation and determination that you need to carry on your duties. It can also help you create a better mindset and a positive outlook, which can greatly improve your well-being.
Caregiving is a demanding job, especially during this pandemic. There are a lot of things to take care of, such as updating prescriptions, checking doctor appointments, helping one move, managing finances, being on call 24/7, doing house chores, and more. Hence, taking a quick break is definitely essential. You can go to a salon, get a massage, chill at a coffee shop, meet your friends, and the likes. You can also read a book that can help you lessen the stress of caregiving, as well as make you more knowledgeable about the task. A great book to read during this time is One Caregiver’s Journey, a Pinnacle Book Achievement awardee, by Eleanor Gaccetta. Moreover, these moments are your chance to unwind, reflect, and replenish, so take advantage of them.
Recognition and/or acts of gratitude
Working without any words of recognition, praise or gratitude heard can lower your motivation. It can even increase your stress level and make you more prone to burnout. The essence of recognition and acts of gratitude can help you value your work, increase your drive, and see yourself grow as a better individual. Although you cannot request or force these to be given to your constantly, being able to appreciate and take these positively can make your job more bearable. Also, just don’t get your hopes up with this essential because you can only receive them randomly, there are no schedule or such that you can look forward to.
Mediums for expression
Some important things that can help you avoid being drained and exhausted from work, as well as being worried and anxious, are those instruments that can let you express and pour your heart out. Hence, it is vital and convenient to have a journal or a diary where you can write about your daily experiences and struggles. These mediums allow you to let out all the negativities that are the product of caregiving. You can pour the things that make you feel intense emotions, duties that challenge you, situations that are new to you, and circumstances that you cannot control. You are also allowed to write the things that make you happy, fills your heart with joy, satisfy your soul, and the likes. What is important is that you can let everything out, unload your burden, keep a worry-less mind, and see caregiving from a better angle.