Understanding the Warning Signs of Caregiver Burnout

Caring for a loved one is rewarding but can also be demanding. We provide tips for managing caregiver burnout.

Caring for a loved one is rewarding. However, it can also be exhausting and frustrating without the necessary support systems. It can become physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. In most cases, caregiving limits the caregiver's social life and could cause financial problems. The caregiver might also be so consumed with caring for a loved one that they neglect their own health.  

Depending on the individual setup, a caregiver might feel alone, isolated, or unappreciated. As a caregiver, have you felt overwhelmed by these negative emotions? When this happens, experts call it caregiver burnout. Below are some emotions that indicate caregiver burnout.


Do you feel hopeless most of the time? You may feel depressed, unappreciated, sad, or helpless. Every day may feel like any other, with just more hopelessness ahead.  


Looking after a loved one is draining, and you might not have the energy to care for yourself. You may feel lethargic, and even the most basic tasks may feel challenging. 

Anger and frustration

You might be stressed and anxious. You may even feel angry at yourself or your loved one, which brings on feelings of guilt. 

Sleep disturbances 

You may experience disturbed sleep, including trouble falling asleep, interrupted sleep, or sleeping too much. Low-quality sleep could lead to fatigue, depression, and anxiety. 

Frequent illnesses

When you're stressed, your immune system is compromised. You may fall ill frequently, and this potentially causes more stress as you worry you may not be able to care for your loved one. 

Weight changes

Have your eating patterns changed? Are you losing or gaining weight? Stress may cause you to eat less or more than usual, and a lack of time and energy could stop you from making healthy and nutritious meals for yourself. 

Isolating yourself

When you are overwhelmed by caregiving, you may isolate yourself from friends. You may also neglect activities you previously enjoyed, and caregiving might become the only thing you do. 

Turning to alcohol and drugs 

A caregiver may turn to alcohol and drugs to deal with anxiety and hopelessness. If you are in this undesirable situation, it's best to stop your caregiving duties and seek proper support. 

How to prevent caregiver burnout or tackle it if it already exists 

If the emotions we've highlighted feel familiar to you, it might be time to consider how you can prevent caregiver burnout in addition to seeking professional support. 

1. Don't try to do everything

Look for (and accept) help from family and friends. If your family lives far away or no one is available to relieve you of caregiver duties, turn to community organizations in your area. You may find support and respite care, and they may provide assistance that can relieve you of caregiver duties a few times a week.

You may also take your loved one to an adult care centre a few days a week to give yourself a break. You could also check your loved one into a nursing home or an assisted living home for a short stay whenever you need to go away. 

2. Talk about your feelings

Don't bottle up your feelings. Join caregiver support groups and talk to other caregivers. You will find that other caregivers go through the same or similar emotions and feelings. You may also consider additional support through a therapist specializing in caregiver burnout. 

3. Take care of yourself  

Set time aside for yourself. Don't neglect your health. Exercise, eat well, get enough sleep, socialize, and pursue your hobbies and interests. Take breaks from caregiving duties. Remember, if you don't take care of yourself—you can't take care of your loved one. 

4. Learn about your loved one's condition

In addition to what the doctors tell you, educate yourself on your loved one's condition. Knowing more will equip you to care for your loved ones more effectively. 

Get support for caregiver burnout with Inkblot Therapy

Finding a therapist specializing in caregiver burnout and its associated symptoms can help. Inkblot Therapy makes connecting with a practitioner simple using our unique matching system. We'll direct you to a provider selection page where matches will be ranked based on effectiveness and your individual needs by answering a series of questions.

Remember that you are not alone. Reach out for support when needed so you can return to being your best self.

Inkblot Therapy