by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.

Whether you are in the health care profession or taking care of a loved one or friend, being a caregiver is a gift. It is a great opportunity to put someone else’s needs before yours. We all need help at one time or another in our lives. We may also need to help others when the situation calls for our assistance.

Caregiver burnout is a common problem. It is difficult to be around someone who is in pain or has a debilitating situation often because we love them so and find it difficult to see them like this. Also, when someone is ill, in pain or not well, their is a certain energy about them that is not the norm.

Because of this energy deficit or imbalance, it can be a real challenge to be around them for periods of time.

The National Alliance for Caregivers make these suggestions:

1. Find someone you can talk to and discuss your feelings. All feelings are legitimate, even those that upset you (anger sadness, guilt).
2. Set realistic goals. Balancing work, family, and time for yourself is difficult. Determine your priorities, and turn to other people for help with some tasks.
3.Make time for yourself, even if it’s just an hour or two. Go to a movie, have lunch with a friend, or just sit and read a book.

Preventing Burnout

Caring for another person, especially over a long period of time, can be physically and emotionally draining. You may find yourself feeling listless, forced to do routine tasks, and wishing to be someplace else. If this sounds familiar, you are a candidate for caregiver burnout.

1. Joining a caregiver support group: Check the newspaper or local library to locate one in your area. Sharing experiences with others can help you manage stress, locate resources, and reduce feelings of isolation.

2. Talking to a professional: The clergy, social workers, psychologists, and nurses are often trained to provide counseling on care-giving issues. Help may also be available through your employee assistance program.

3. Taking advantage of respite care: Respite care is a service that provides temporary care for an older person. Respite care may mean help with a specific task or having health care providers care for your relative at home or in a extended care facility while you go on vacation.

4. Recognize signs of stress: Stress can take its toll on you in many ways. Be aware of changes in your thinking, in your physical health and in your behavior.

Signs of Stress

Stress related symptoms can include a feeling that something undesirable is about to happen, dry mouth, swallowing difficulty, hoarseness, rapid breathing and heart palpitations, twitching or trembling, muscle tension, headaches, backaches sweating, difficulty in concentrating, dizziness or faintness. Nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, sleeplessness, irritability, fatigue, nightmares, memory problems, and sexual impotence.

The single most important point you can make about stress is that in most cases it’s not what’s out there that’s the problem, it’s how you react to it. How you react is determined by how you perceive a particular stress.

White Light Protection Exercise

Attracting and retaining people’s energies as a caregiver is a very common occurrence. In a metaphysical sense, the best way to protect yourself from negative energy is with White Light.

Sit, or lay on the floor and close your eyes. Imagine White Light warming and engulfing first, your Crown Chakra and bathing your eyes in light. Let the White Light warm your mind and relax and release all thoughts…….

Move the White Light down the Chakra centers and let it bath each one and allow the White Light to massage each Chakra Point. Finish at the Root Chakra.

Then allow the White Light to engulf your entire being. This protects your aura from negative energies and allows your “psychic defense” to come into play.

This can be done at any time, in any place. Just close your eyes and visualize this White Light Protector.

Color Therapy is very helpful:

As well as Meditation (the visualizations with candles would be especially good):

Quartz Crystal held during the White Light Protect or really enhances the strength of the Aura.

Remember: energy follows thought.

Cleanse with the positive thought or affirmation and Energy follows it.

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