Director of External Relations
Facing Fatigue and Burnout
I am writing this on Dec. 1st, 2020. Exactly one year ago, the first case of COVID-19 was detected. It was the start of a worldwide pandemic and has turned our lives upside down. It has been nine months since the virus came to the U.S., and if you are anything like me, you are very tired of it. We’ve had to adjust to new routines like wearing a face mask, frequent hand washing, sanitizing work spaces and phones, daily news bulletins about the number of new cases, and reports of hospitalizations and deaths. It’s been bleak and scary. We’re all living with heightened levels of stress. Our holiday traditions have been altered. There is little stability, and it is very unsettling. We’re all exhausted. There’s a name for it: Pandemic Fatigue.
Sound familiar? For dementia caregivers, they are familiar with the feelings of exhaustion, constant stress, heightened anxiety, always being on high alert, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring. It is called Caregiver Burnout. Because Alzheimer’s and other dementias have a long timespan, it can feel like there is no end in sight. The parallels to Pandemic Fatigue are many.
The antidote to both Caregiver Burnout and Pandemic Fatigue are based on the same principles:
Breath, being, and balance.
Find time for self-care. Remember to breathe deeply and consciously. Be with your feelings. Connect with friends and family. Seek professional support, such as that offered by CaringKind. Make opportunities to balance your life with affirming and pleasurable activities that will restore and heal you. Spend time in nature, exercise, meditate, laugh, or make music.
For COVID-19, we can see a future without the virus, when the vaccine is available to all. Until that time arrives, continue to follow the CDC guidelines. Taking a positive action against the spread of this virus also lowers our anxiety about it.
For dementia caregivers, your best line of defense is reaching out and getting help. Call the Helpline (646-744-2900) for more information about how to cope when you’re feeling burnt out.