What Can I Do to Reduce Caregiver Burnout and Stress?

While your priority is your loved one, you also need to practice self-care to avoid caregiver burnout and stress. You cannot care for your loved one if you do not care for yourself. Below are some actions you can take to maintain your own emotional health.

  • Make time for activities that de-stress you: whether exercising, gardening, or other activities, make room in your schedule for things that typically bring you joy. These activities are helpful, particularly when they break up the caregiving routine or involve a change of venue. You may need to force yourself to do them at first, but self-care is important for you to be the best version of yourself
  • Look for signs that you are overly stressed or burning out: you may want to have a close friend looking out for these signs or enlist the help of your healthcare provider to monitor for issues
  • Consider seeking professional help: finding a trusted mental health professional can be key during this journey
  • Find the humor in things: a positive correlation has been found between humor and comfort levels in patients with cancer. If you and your loved one can find ways to laugh together, it can be de-stressing for both of you.

Care for the Caregiver

Taking Care of Yourself as a Caregiver – American Cancer Society
This resource highlights the importance of caring for yourself as a caregiver, continuing to plan things you enjoy, recognizing signs of burnout, and finding professional help as needed.
This resource provides statistics about caregivers’ mental and physical demands and educates caregivers on managing stress, asking for/accepting help, starting to exercise, and more.