Resilience fatigue is an actual condition that many family caregivers run into. Could you have resilience fatigue and not know it? Here is everything you need to know about this issue.
Resilience Fatigue Explained
When you’re helping your mom or dad every day, you probably don’t take many breaks. You know they depend on you, so you make sure there is no point where you’re unavailable. You keep powering through each day, even when you’re tired, down, or frustrated.
You show up with a smile on your face and a positive attitude. It’s all a front, however, as you really didn’t want to get out of bed and make the drive to your parents’ home. You’re acting cheerful, but the truth is you’ve been “on” for so long that you’re burning out.
That’s resilience fatigue. You’ve been pushing yourself to remain positive and motivated, and it’s now backfiring. You’re desperate for a break, but you can’t see how to make it work.
Why Do Many Family Caregivers Become Exhausted?
Helping your parents with their daily activities shouldn’t be so tiring. Why is it? A lot of it comes down to the extra work you take on. You’re helping your parents out, which makes you feel helpful, but you also have everything else you do daily.
You have a full-time job, so you’re rushing from work to help your parents with dinner. After that, you head home where you have to get laundry started, walk your dog, and make sure your kids have eaten and done their homework.
Many family caregivers find it hard to set limits and say no. You’re going from a 40-hour workweek to 40 hours at work, plus an average of 22 hours helping your mom and dad, and the commute time between work, their home, and your home. Holding a full-time and unpaid part-time position is exhausting.
What Can You Do?
You need to leave time for yourself. If you’re working 40 hours and have an hour commute twice a day, that’s 50 hours a week already. Add in 20 hours with your parents, and it’s too much.
You don’t have to ignore your parents, but you can set limits. Agree to help them with laundry on weekends, but they need to have home care during the week to have nights to yourself.
One of the best ways to prevent resilience fatigue is by making sure you take days off now and then. It’s okay to want to be there for your parents, but you can’t lose track of yourself in the process. Call a home care agency and ask about respite care.
Respite care enables you to take time off every now and then. While you’re focusing on your own interests and needs, your parents have caregivers to makes sure their needs are met.