East Bay CNA from Hillendale Home Care is licensed by the State of California to provide Certified Nursing training courses for Contra Costa and Alameda Counties.

Reduce Professional Caregiver Burnout: Finding Resiliency in a Time of Crisis

Become a stronger, more resilient caregiver with these helpful tips.

A time of crisis can sometimes bring out both the best and the worst in us. All through the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve come across stories of individuals hoarding items and selling them to generate an excessive profit, coupled with stories of heroes who selflessly met the needs of others in spite of their own fears.

The key to weathering the storms that are sure to arise in our lives in an appropriate way is resiliency. Mia Bartoletti, clinical psychologist for the Navy SEAL Foundation, works closely with families of individuals serving in the military, and gives suggestions that can help build resilience through any time of crisis.

  1. Communicate your reactions. It’s normal to experience an array of responses to a crisis: flashbacks to other challenging situations, dreams and nightmares, withdrawal and avoidance, trouble with sleeping, irritability, difficulties with concentration and focus, and hypervigilance. What is crucial is to make sure these responses are short-term, and do not progress into long-term psychological problems. Admit your feelings, and share them with a dependable friend or write them in a journal. 
  2. Continue to keep social connections. While your reaction could be to pull away from friends and family during a crisis, keeping in touch on a frequent basis with those you care about is crucial. Locating a support group, whether in person or online, is another great way to make sure you are forming and preserving social ties, letting you speak with other people in a similar situation.
  3. Take time for self-care. This means something different to every person, but ought to include pleasant activities, engaging hobbies and interests, nourishing meals, lots of sleep, and physical exercise. It can often be hard to carve out time for yourself due to caregiving duties, but it is important to remember that looking after yourself allows you to take better care of others.
  4. Realize what you are able to control – and what you cannot. Letting go of what’s beyond your control and focusing instead on what you CAN control is one of the fundamentals of resilience. Psychologist Mary Alvord, who founded Resilience Across Borders, explains, “Depression is hopelessness and helplessness, and so resilience is the opposite. No, you’re not helpless; you do have control over many aspects of your life.”

It certainly is a smart idea to seek professional counseling if your responses to stressful situations are impeding your ability to maintain a feeling of calm and to tend to the necessary day-to-day activities of living. And, as part of your caregiving duties as a professional caregiver, watch out for signs that clients are feeling undue degrees of stress so that you can help them obtain the help that they need as well.

As a professional caregiver, resilience is an important aspect of your job, as you will be a much-needed source of comfort and relief for clients and their families. Always remember to prioritize your own mental, emotional, and physical health so that you can provide the best possible care to others. 

If you or someone you know is interested in a career as a provider of in-home care in Berkeley or the surrounding area that allows you to make a difference in the lives of seniors and their families each day, contact Hillendale Home Care today at 925-297-2676 to find out more about our CNA and HHA training programs.