7. Start socializing more.
Caregivers spend so much time caring for loved ones that they often neglect to socialize with friends. “Humans are naturally social, so isolation is a risk factor for burnout and depression,” cautions Dr. Civitelli. “You don’t want your world to narrow to the point where all you ever do is work and provide care. There also has to be time for pleasure and being with people who can build you up.”
You need to take care of you.
If you’re feeling stressed out in your caregiving role, you’re not alone, but it doesn’t mean you should suffer caregiver burnout to the point of depression. It happens more often than you may think: According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, between 40 to 70 percent of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression. One quarter to one half of those studied meet the diagnostic criteria for major depression and are at risk for emotional, mental and physical health problems.
By nature, caregivers are giving people who often don’t take time to address their own needs. But how well you take care of yourself can have a huge impact not only on your overall well-being, but on the person you most care about. Here, seven ways to de-stress and take care of you.