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Caregiver Burnout
Thursday, October 17, 2013
What is burnout? It feels like insanity sometimes; tired, disinterested, annoyed with work, blaming, disgust. All these feelings can be normal expressions of caregiver burnout. This happens when the caregiver either chooses or must do it all alone and doesn't take time for him or herself. How many times do you hear, "Take care of yourself so you can continue to take care of your family member."
This phenomenon happens to professionals too. We hear people's stories of difficult caregiving, families reluctant to help, caregiver illness, and without taking one's own needs for diversion and relaxation, the professional becomes stale, disinterested, lacking in empathy. 
This is one reason I am taking a 3 day weekend in the mountains of New Hampshire's White Mountain tomorrow. I hope to climb to a peak of a mountain and inhale the vistas of Fall's colors. I'm going with a sure bet for a good partner in the climb; my husband, Curt, who I see also needs time away. In the mountains there is no  phone interrupting meals, computer work, or mail to sort. I intend to simply put one foot in front of the other through the fallen leaves, drink water and munch on trail mix for energy and...just be quiet. There is a Psalm that says, "Be still and know that I am God." I've always loved meditating on that verse. Who better to have faith in to be there alongside but our Creator.
Have a weekend of taking care of yourself, caregiver. You deserve a break today!  
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