The Very Real Possibility of Burnout

image of mother and baby


It takes some time in life to learn the right balance. When to say no. Burnout is very real and can occur in any of our lives. Usually it rears it’s ugly head when we least expect it and absolutely don’t have time for it. We didn’t pencil that into the schedule. That schedule is the problem. We still each only have 24 hours in the day and if taking care of ourself isn’t high on the priority list, at some point burnout becomes a very real possibility.

Caretakers are highly susceptible to burnout. Caretakers of the incapacitated, caretakers of the elderly, caretakers of those too young to care for themselves. All face the identical issue. Most, if not all, the waking hours in their days are spent caring for someone else. Physically, this work is often grueling. Mentally, it has the potential to become mind numbing. Emotionally, it has the potential to cover the spectrum from rewarding and fulfilling to devastatingly heartbreaking.

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Take a look at the caretakers in your life. Is there a young mother who desperately needs a day to herself? Is there a relative or friend who cares for an incapacitated family member? Depending on your financial and time resources, could you babysit for a day or an afternoon? Give a young mother a gift certificate to visit a spa? Or even a $5 gift certificate to her local coffee shop? Tell her you have the kids handled for her while she takes an afternoon to window shop and then grab a coffee. Can you take care of the incapacitated person for a few hours to give their caretaker a break? If you’re not qualified to provide that level of care, can you afford to pay for a qualified respite care for a few hours?

We each need to be aware that we are not over scheduling our own lives and after doing that, let’s take a minute to look around us. Let’s see where the need is and then do whatever we can to fulfill that need for someone else so they, too, avoid burnout.


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