Caregiver fatigue and exhaustion are common, and when you're exhausted, you can't do the best job of continuing to care for others or for yourself. Self care for carers is of the utmost importance, especially in the funeral business.
Why is self care for carers so important?
Caregiver fatigue is like a downward spiraling ladder. You end the day feeling emotionally and mentally drained. You don't quite recover overnight, so the next day, you feel even worse. Before long, you are going through your day like a robot.
Connecting with the families you care for becomes harder, and you start trying to avoid feeling that emotional connection because it's almost too painful and draining to do so. You feel like a shell of yourself, and the families you care for can feel that you're not quite connected and engaged. Some funeral business workers become so exhausted that they must leave the business.
Thankfully, by practicing some good self care techniques, you can keep yourself stronger, mentally and emotionally, and continue to have the capacity to connect with your families and give them the support they need. You'll be able to really feel what they need and what they are going through without having to consciously compartmentalize their feelings. This makes for happier families and a more rewarding career for you, too.
There are a few ways to take better care of yourself as a carer:
See if there are some tasks you can delegate to other employees in order to lighten your load a bit. The less there is on your plate, the less stressed out you will feel after a long day.
Choose a Hobby
Look for a hobby you love that does not require much engagement with other people. This will give you some alone time to focus on something else without having to worry about others' burdens. Running, swimming, cycling, and knitting are some examples.
Set Your Hours
Working in a funeral home does not have to be a 24-hour job. Contract with an answering service to handle after-hours calls so you can take time for yourself each evening.
Taking better care of your families starts with taking better care of yourself.