Step #5 – Overcoming Caregiver Burnout

Ever notice how tense and tired you get when you’re doing something you don’t want to do? I’ve spent the last several days gathering, sorting and recording our 2013 tax information. I hate that job, which may explain why I put it off until the very last minute and feel so exhausted when it’s done.

When I finished at noon yesterday and emerged from my basement office, I was hungry and bone tired. Alex offered to take me out for lunch (not to Subway or Costco). We went to our favorite neighborhood bistro and then we drove to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. As we walked along the paths through acres and acres of every color and type of tulip you can imagine, I felt the tension ease in my neck. The heaviness that I’d been feeling on my shoulders and chest lifted.

As I breathed in the cool, fresh air and soaked up the beauty of the flowers, I was reminded of the importance of taking a break and getting outside. It’s spring. The days are getting warmer and longer. Trees, bushes and flowers are starting to bloom everywhere.

When you are mentally, emotionally and physically tired, it can be difficult to find the energy to leave the house, but I promise if you’ll make the effort to get out, you’ll find beauty. Not everyone is lucky enough to live close to a tulip farm, but my guess is that if you go outside and look for beauty, even if you stay in your own neighborhood, you will see something spectacular.

When you do, it will give renew your energy and give you an opportunity to feel grateful for something special. Even on the worst days, and even in the very worst circumstances, beauty is a gift you can give yourself.