Caregiving Workers burn out, too – Take Action

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The Importance of Self-Care for Caregivers and Nannies

takecareWorking as a caregiver or nanny demands that you spend much of your time caring for other people, and even helping to manage other families’ households.

Making sure that your charges and employers are cared for to the best of your ability and that all of your job responsibilities are attended to may not always leave much time to worry about your own needs, but there are a few reasons why it’s very important that you find a way to make yourself a priority, as well as your charges and their parents.

Avoiding Illnesses and Sick Days

It’s not always easy to keep in mind that your own health effects that of your charges and the schedule of your employers, but it’s absolutely true. When you allow your own health to suffer because you’re too busy looking after everyone else, you cannot only contract illnesses that you will later pass on to your charges and their families, but also will create the need for your employers to take sick days of their own to care for their children while you’re unable to do so. If your health slips, it can completely derail the routine and structured schedule you’ve built with your employers, making it difficult for your employers to manage and potentially straining your relationship with them in the long run. Making sure that you’re eating wisely, getting plenty of exercise and enough rest to keep yourself running on all cylinders will invariably affect your employers and charges positively.

Preventing Burn-Out

One of the biggest dangers of working as a private, in-home childcare provider is burn-out. Burned out nannies have less patience with their charges, less interest in their positions and are actively miserable because they’re feeling as if they’re spread just a bit too thin. When you take the time to pamper yourself a bit, maintain healthy habits and indulge in activities that you enjoy during your time off, you are less likely to return to work each day feeling as if you’re ill-equipped to handle the demands of running a household professionally. By getting enough rest and making sure that you’re caring for yourself, you’re also helping to take care of your charges and their parents.

Maintaining Your Job Performance

Even the very best nannies are likely to find their job performance slipping dramatically when they’re not caring for themselves properly. In order to continue to perform at the peak of your abilities and provide top-notch care for your charges, you need to be well-rested and ready for anything. In the end, your employers will notice if you’re no longer performing your job duties with the same enthusiasm and vigor that you brought to the table in the beginning.

To prevent any awkward conversations about your slipping performance or cause friction between your employers and yourself, it’s absolutely necessary for you to make sure that you’re getting the things that you need. You can’t take care of everyone else when your own needs go unmet for too long, so make sure that you’re consistently making an effort to take care of yourself, as well as your charges and the home they live in.

Modeling Good Habits

Kids learn many of their habits from observing the adults that they love and trust along the way. Because the little ones spend so much time with you, you will be one of the people that they begin to emulate. When they see you making poor dietary choices, not taking the proper hygienic precautions to avoid illnesses and feeling out-of-sorts because your personal needs aren’t being met, they’re learning to make those same choices for themselves. Caring for adults or seniors have similar experience, as they too observe your energy level and moods; sometimes taking your actions personally, causing friction that is heavy on the relationship.

Even if you’re not concerned with your own health or well-being, it’s important to realize that failing to model healthful, conscious choices, you’re effectively undoing or at least undermining all of the lessons that you’re attempting to teach and the traits you’re trying to instill in the easily-influenced little minds you’re in charge of caring for throughout the day.

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