Do holistic self-care practices have the capacity to end caregiver burnout for good?
It is said that some 43.5 million caregivers provided unpaid care to a disabled adult, child or elderly in 2015. With the increase in aging adults from the baby boomer generation, this number has doubtlessely increased. This means there are more caregivers stepping into service in the United States than ever before.
We are working more, giving more, doing more and are performing at our personal bests without the necessary tools to nourish our bodies at a deep level.
With increases in age related illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and obesity, the growing demand for in-home care is increasing and placing an enormous amount of pressure on a workforce that cannot keep up with the demands of their own needs or the needs of their clients.
As caregivers step into increasingly demanding roles, their needs for self-care will also increase. But in what ways? How can we identify those needs? And how can we honor those needs by showing up for ourselves in ways that yield overall wellness?
This is where self-care techniques such as meditation, healthy eating, deep breathing, exercise and mindfulness start to cast a light on the many problems that caregivers face today.
Stress and burnout can cripple anyone’s ability to show up fully in life. If caregivers can learn to provide nourishing, revitalizing care for themselves, we can begin to course correct the trajectory of unhealthy lifestyles that cause disease. We can create a future of health, hope and healing for the caregivers of the future.
We need to take action to create a sustainable future for our long-term care needs and the subsequent, ever increasing needs of caregivers.
With the practice of holistic self-care techniques for body, mind and soul, the seeds of a new paradigm in health and wellness can steer our outlook on the future of the caregiving industry in a new, exciting direction. If we can begin to course correct our self-care behavior, we can prepare future care workers with the ability to truly care for themselves while caring for others.
Our healthcare system would doubtless benefit from healthy care workers. Caregivers have the capacity to take ownership of their health. There is a collective community of disabled citizens whose lives depend on the care resources that caregivers provide and will benefit greatly from healthier care support.
I see a future where the needs of care workers are integrated into the system itself. This is what I call Progressive Caregiving. It is a style of care that takes the threefold needs of caregivers into consideration-body, mind and soul.