Don’t fall into the trap of giving all your time to others. Clear your mind and find renewal in a hobby, a trip to the movies, or a mini vacation.

Caregivers often give their all to loved ones needing help. But the hard work of tending to the needs of others takes a toll.

How can caregivers find that refreshing well to draw from? Is there a way to refill when that well is low?

One of the signs that a caregiver is “running dry” is when they notice their actions and thoughts change and they say to themselves or others, “What is happening to me?” When this occurs, burnout may be close behind.

Restoration comes from tapping into your source of joy. Sometimes it’s giving yourself permission to rediscover a hobby or to try a new one.

Prevention begins with self-care

  • Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. See if you can delegate some responsibilities or errands.
  • Put a priority on getting enough sleep
  • Get outside for regular walks or other activity
  • Reconnect with family or friends. It can be as simple as a regular lunch.
  • Try making jewelry, knitting, gardening, writing, or woodworking.
  • Check with your employer about family leave time or FMLA.
  • Don’t skip your own healthcare appointments or needs

Once you find your source of renewal, keep returning to that well. Remember, a fountain never refilled will soon run dry.

Learn to step back and take a caregiving time-out. The best caregivers are those who learn to care for themselves.