Burnout, Caregiving, and Grief
How am I going to survive this burnout, caregiving, and all this grief? “Too much, too much,” they scream silently, “I just had a rotten day and now I’m taking care of people I love. Running on empty – lost and needing to recharge. I need a boost of energy!”
Caregiving can be scary as people decline and we feel guilty that we cannot do more. Accept and know that you are doing the best you can. Being present becomes a balancing act, boundaries blur, and caregivers are just plain weary and drained.
Anyone in these circumstances can have burnout, be tired, frustrated, and exhausted, making caregivers one of the most vulnerable of groups, prone to collecting the negativity that is thrown at them. Also, many caregivers die before the person they are taking care of, used up years before their time, or they are destroyed by illness. Their energy has been pulled out of them. So keep your energy up, up, up!
How to Release Those Unresolved Emotions
While caregiving, make peace with yourself and the person you are taking care of, as best you can. Even when the relationship is good, tension runs high along with the uncertainty of things to come. Keep the lines of communication open the best you can. If your relationship is difficult or they are unable to communicate, send them the most loving thought you can, and yourself as well.
Grief has many stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – to reach freedom on the other side. It is necessary to go through each one.
Use this technique when the negative emotions surface. This is good when the person passes, as you still have all those feelings and energy is stuck.
- Write down your unresolved feelings and frustrations.
- Acknowledge and accept your feelings.
- Visualize a fire burning up negative feelings.
- Forgive yourself for all the things you did and didn’t do.
- Forgive them for all the things they did not say or do.
- Bless, and release both of you.
When they are gone we think, “I’d give anything to have another moment with you.” I lost my dad a long time ago, and I still wait for his 10:00 a.m. phone call with the joke of the day. My mom passed recently and she left a hole in my heart. I still cannot believe she is gone. We laughed together… and this what I choose to remember. Life does go on and it takes time to go through grief – allow others to help you. Enjoy those happy moments when you can.
An antidote to the constant drain of energy for caregivers is more energy. “Laughter” is needed and not heard in houses where long term illness is present. It is one of the best remedies for bringing up the energy of everyone. We can use “color” to help raise the energy of the members of the house. Apricot is a color used for healing relationships, along with relationships to your own body. It makes us feel calmer and safer.
- Deep breathing helps to shift energy – inhale and count to 4, hold 4, and exhale to a count of 4.
- Bring up the energy by surrounding you and them in an apricot color.
- Take a few minutes to think of a picture or a place you love.
- Mentally give yourself permission to take a few minutes for yourself.
- In your mind’s eye imagine all negativity and tiredness burning up.
- Enjoy candles of lavender and vanilla to relax, cinnamon and orange for energy.
Caregivers benefit from having a “care team” they can call on and get relief. Each person has the others’ names and phone numbers and arranges time off for the primary caregiver on a regular basis.
Gather a list of a few people to give you a day or an afternoon off, such as having other family members take part. There are agencies that help for free, or you may need to pay for help a few times a month with the help of a number of agencies, churches, or social services. Those needing care will enjoy a break as well.
(The above is a sample of content from my book “The Thriving Code: A Guide For Healing and Energy Protection”)
The article above addresses one of the hardest times we encounter in life and do not talk about or reach out to others until we are at a breaking point. Here are a few ideas to handle those times, while keeping your energy up.
You are a very important part of caregiving for others, but we neglect our needs all too often.
Having gone through the loss of my mother recently and a dear friend, this is fresh in my mind. I used this information to help me and with siblings. May this be of help to you.
Thank you for taking the time to read these articles filled with stories, helpful recommendations, and tips to improve many situations. As always, my desire is to help you and others in need. Please share this article with anyone in need. Thank you again.
See my book on Amazon: “The Thriving Code: A Guide For Healing and Energy Protection” This book gives you a step-by-step powerful handbook filled with techniques to solve your problems with negative people and situations.