I wish that I had known about this caregiver stress burnout quiz when I was juggling the 24-hour care for my mom and working a full-time job. I may have recognized the symptoms sooner and could have done some things to eliminate the stress.
Caregiver stress and ultimate burnout is a serious issue among family caregivers. Caring for a loved one while juggling work, family and life in general can be stressful. When this stress becomes too much it can cause negative health issues for you.
My Aha Moment
It all came to a head for me one day as I was giving my mom a shower while being summoned to join an emergency conference call for work.
I won’t go in to all the details but while my mom sat on the shower chair all wrapped up in towels to dry off, I walked up to the front of the house and screamed at the top of my lungs and began hitting the wall. I was just so overwhelmed.
Then, I realized the baby monitor I had set up to hear my mom during the night was still on. She had heard everything. I ran back to the shower and hugged her while I cried. I’m really not sure what she heard or how she was feeling, but I felt awful.
I think that was the moment I realized how stressed out I had become. I realize now that it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and not to feel guilty about it. There are things you can do to help reduce the stress and burnout once you realize what you are dealing with.
What is Caregiver Burnout
Caregiver burnout is when you are in a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. It may be accompanied by changes in attitude, going from positive and caring to negative and not concerned.
Caregiver burnout can occur when you don’t get the help you need or if you are trying to do more than you are physically, emotionally or financially able to.
Caregivers who are “burned out” can experience fatigue, anxiety, stress, and depression. There can also be a feeling of guilt if you try to spend time on yourself or do something you enjoy, rather that spending that time on your loved one. This is why it’s so important for you to take care of yourself.
How Do You Know if you have Caregiver Burnout?
It’s really easy to dismiss your symptoms as “normal” stress, especially if it’s stress that’s been building over a period of time. You may not recognize how serious it has become. I know that was the case for me until that one day when I exploded.
One way to find out if you are stressed or burned out from caregiving is to take a simple stress quiz. We found this quick and helpful quiz from AARP that will help you measure your stress and level of burnout now and over time.
Take the Quiz
The quiz consists of 15 feelings that are common during times of stress. You’ll be asked to rate each feeling and give a score ranging from 1 to 7. 1 means that you never have that feeling and 7 means you always have that feeling.
When you are ready, click on the button below and it will take you to the AARP quiz. When you are done, add up your score to get your overall stress level score. You also have the option of printing out the quiz if that’s easier for you.
Then, you can see AARP’s explanation of what your total score means and get tips and recommendations on how to eliminate or manage the stress in your daily life.
Put a Plan in Place For Self-Care
Once you have identified a base line score for your stress level, you can start to implement activities or stress management techniques to help you bring that score down.
Caregiver stress is not constant. It changes over time. You’ll have good days and not-so-good days. We recommend taking this quiz once a month and writing down your score.
This is a good “check-in” with yourself and allows you to monitor your stress level over time.
If you find your stress level increasing, take stock of the stress management techniques you are doing and consider changing some things. I know that finding time for self-care can be challenging given everything you have going on. But, if you are going to “show up” well in any area of your life you have to be healthy.
After completing the quiz, learn how to deal with caregiver stress and make a commitment to do one thing starting tomorrow to take care of you. Even if it’s sitting for 5 minutes in the morning doing some deep breathing. It will make a difference.
Take care of yourself and, as always, please reach out in the comments below if you have any questions or just want to talk. I care about you because you care for others.