2. Identify Sources of Overwork
Once you understand that you’re burnt out, you can take steps to discover why you’re so drained. Evaluate your physical and emotional conditions at work to see where you’re taking on more than you can handle. Maybe your client is going through problems with their family or health, and you have taken that on emotionally. Maybe you volunteered to complete extra tasks, and they’re wearing you out.
If you can see why you’re so drained, you can take healthy steps to push back on them in a way that extends your caregiving career.
3. Talk to Someone in Your Community
If you still can’t see where you’re overworking yourself, reach out to leaders in your community. From a professional standpoint, this might mean talking to another home caregiver or mentor who has been in your shoes. Personally, you could talk to a friend, faith leader, or even therapist about your mental state.
Caregiving as a career is emotionally-draining work. Professionals can help you understand why you’re struggling and work to find ways for you to improve.
4. Accept What You Cannot Control
If you notice yourself taking on the emotional burdens of your clients, then you need to train your mind to focus on what you can do to help. The Mayo Clinic says it’s normal for caregivers to feel guilty about things that are out of their control, often causing them to take on extra work to help.
When faced with bad news, focus on what you can do to help. If you focus on your work, you will last longer mentally and emotionally, making you a more excellent asset to your clients.
5. Take a Break from Caregiving
Look for ways to step back from your career to protect your mental and physical help. You don’t have to take a hiatus for several weeks, but you do need to schedule regular breaks to refresh and recharge. A few ways you can do this include:
- Leaving by a certain hour every day
- Taking weekends off and completely turning off work during that time
- Treating yourself to a long weekend once a month
- Using your vacation days – all of them – each year
It’s not uncommon for professional caregivers to volunteer to stay late once or offer to help on the weekend, only to make those offers permanent, turning a 40-hour per week job into a 60-hour per week problem.