EXHAUSTION AND THE CAREGIVER

Dear Caregiver,

I am aware of your topnotch multitasking skills, you are very good at planning and making your client very happy and comfortable either as an informal or formal caregiver. You give your all at your job, and you don’t want to be seen as deficient in any of the services you render.

Friends and families give you accolades on your great service to humanity, the smile on your face when you are praised can make a half-moon jealous. You are always eager to submit yourself to work even when your services can be rendered by other individuals, in fact, you are the “do-it-all” kind of human being. You continue to go on like this for a while but sooner or later your body gradually begins to revolt against your will and you start to experience what is known as exhaustion even though you are oblivious to what this is all about.

The Oxford Dictionary describes exhaustion as a state of extreme physical or mental tiredness and you are here wondering what is going on within your core. Let me simplify it for you, if you experience any of the following symptoms, get ready to have a break.

  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Sleepiness
  • Delayed responses
  • Slowed reflexes
  • Irritability
  • Weakness in any part of the body
  • Faulty decision-making
  • Impaired judgement

Experiencing any of the above symptoms indicates you need a break, I don’t mean a short break but a planned self-care regimen that will rejuvenate your body, mind and soul to perform in a better capacity as a caregiver. At this point, you might be thinking that you are acting selfishly, a sense of guilt creeps in making you feel like you are neglecting your responsibilities but have you ever thought it through that if you fall ill or drop dead at this moment, someone else will take up your role as a caregiver. Please pause for a moment and consider the self-care regimen. The least self-care regimen you can gift yourself should be 2 days however you can take up to 5 days or allocate different breaks within your work routine to accommodate the much needed deserved breaks.

Now, that you have decided to give yourself a break, you are at a crossroad of what activities you will be engaging in, not to worry, I don’t intend you to stand you up. I will list some fun and relaxing activities that will be worth your while, you can also add your own creative activities to suit you.

First and foremost, you must seek for support by asking for help and accepting help as seeking assistance is very strange to you. Look for someone you can download your emotions to, how you feel, what you feel and channel the different rush of emotions going through you to a support system that can relieve you of the emotional stress you’ve been experiencing. Enlisting the services of a professional help such as a certified counselor or psychologist to go through this process with you is in order.

Start a new hobby, it might be reading a book, writing, journaling your experiences during the break, listening to music, going to the cinema or even meditating. Just engage in a new activity for fun or relaxation. Go for a spa treatment, eat out, experience the taste of local dishes or continental dishes, pamper yourself with a luxurious vacation if you can afford it, visit a museum, walk on a beach, go hiking, etc. Make sure you do something new to give you the boost needed to return to your work.

You can also enlist yourself in a self-development class, there are so many free trainings online that you can enroll for enlightenment purposes. There are also short hour classes that will broaden your knowledge and skills as your needs requires.

Engage in exercises, stretch exercises will reveal any joint or muscle aches and if you don’t have any, it will increase your flexibility.

Lastly, improve on your social life, don’t shut out friends and families. These are the people that will be at your side when you need them the most. Create time to call them, engage in fun activities even if it’s an hour to play scrabble.

Get rid of exhaustion, return to work and be a better caregiver.

Yours sincerely,

DeeGee

Hold the Age.

NB: You are a caregiver if you are providing care in any capacity that requires you to be physically present to take care of an individual’s activities of daily living or an individual that is incapacitated in any form.