Caregiver fatigue or burnout can be corrected with a self-care treatment plan and a supportive network. When your child has physical or emotional special needs, you may struggle to maintain your own physical and emotional strength. When the hours of your days and nights are full of work, family responsibilities, and the specific needs of your children, there's a growing possibility that you'll experience caregiver fatigue. Here are some tips and resources to help you cope with the stress of being a caregiver.
Recognize the Signs
The symptoms of caregiver fatigue include exhaustion and depression. Ask yourself questions to recognize and evaluate your situation:
These questions and others can help you assess your mental and physical help. If the answers to these questions show a high level of fatigue, experts agree that it's important that you focus on self-care.
Prioritize Your Health
Parents of children with special needs often feel guilty about focusing on their own well-being. It's important to understand that neglecting your own health makes it harder for you to provide the safe, loving home environment you want to maintain. What are the obstacles you face in getting enough sleep, eating a nourishing diet, and getting physical exercise? Who can help you with those obstacles? What changes do you have control over?
Give special attention to the health of your home. If you’re feeling stressed and unfocused, a disorganized home could be part of the reason. Create a stress-free environment by organizing, decluttering, adding some indoor plants, and letting in more natural light.