So exactly what is 'Caregiver's Overload Syndrome' (COS) anyway? Well, I don't think you will find it in any medical book of any kind because I made it up. It is just my own term for what many people do who care for others. Simply stated, Caregiver's Overload Syndrome is the act of constantly taking care of others at our own expense.
Many of us throughout our lives in various situations can fall prey to COS. Parents of infants or troubled children, the sandwich generation taking care of kids as well as aging grandparents, or family members helping out spouses, aunt, uncles, or in-laws are all prime candidates for COS! Indeed, COS can crop up in just about any caring scenario.
But how do we know if we have it? If you can identify with any of the following 3 things, to some degree you might have what I call Caregiver's Overload Syndrome:
- You are stressed, you feel drained, and you are exhausted. If you are constantly tired, and you feel like you may never get accomplished all that you need to get done for those you care for, it is probably a sign. Do you dread what lies ahead before you ever get out of bed in the morning because you are overwhelmed already by the needs of others?
- You feel unappreciated and resentful about all you do for others. True giving is supposed to be as much for the giver as it is for the receiver. Does your caregiving fuel you, or do you find yourself angry and resentful about it?
- You have forgotten about taking care of yourself. People with COS have put some or all of their own vitality, growth, and happiness on the back burner in order to take care of other people. Have you stopped working out, seeing friends, or doing other things that you once enjoyed in lieu of doing what other people need you to do for them?
Is any of this true for you? Do you suffer from Caregiver's Overload Syndrome? If so, do you want to dig deeper and make some changes? Actually identifying Caregiver's Overload Syndrome and desiring to 'get over it' is the first critical step.
As the coach of many with COS, I offer ½ hour complimentary sessions. Use your session to explore your caregiving and how it may be adversely affecting your life. Come away with a plan to both honor yourself and your core values while still caring for those you love. Contact me today to schedule your session!
Don't want to talk, but texting, online chat, or another electronic media is better for you? That can be arranged as well!
Please share in the comments section below your throughts on Caregiver's Overload Syndrome!