How to Recognise Carer Burnout and 3 Easy Steps to Recovery

6 June 2020
Love heart drawn on the sand at Kingscliff beach
Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

Caring for a loved one is a HUGE responsibility, that only the brave and wholehearted can manage. The care you give your loved one, might sometimes go unnoticed and unappreciated, but today I wanted to reassure you that YOU ARE NOTICED,andYOU ARE APPRECIATED in more ways than you know.

Carer burnout is reported to be significantly higher in carers of family members with a disability.

The Australian Journal of General Practice conducted a research paper in April last year, to research the Factors associated with high psychological distress in primary carers of people with a disability.

The results showed that approximately 27% of carers had high psychological distress (that’s nearly 1 in 3 carers). Nearly half of the study population reported changes in their health and wellbeing and the majority (91%) needed to see a general practitioner (GP) but most delayed in doing so!

You check out more of the research paper by clicking here.

So how do you know if you are suffering carer burnout/fatigue?

Here are a few symptoms to look out for:

  • Feeling overwhelmed, constantly worried, hopeless and/or sad
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
  • Changes in appetite, weight or both
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Having frequent headaches, bodily pain or other physical problems
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you’re caring
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

If you’re feeling any or a few of these symptoms, you may be suffering some form of carer burnout/fatigue.

Clawing your way back from burnout is a tough task! But with a little help you CAN come back into balance and happiness.

Here are 3 easy steps you can take to start the healing process:

1. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling

Even though you may not believe it right now, you’re extremely loved and respected within your family and circle of friends. They want to help you feel better on the inside and are waiting to hear from you! They are just as concerned about you, as you are.

Taking two hours to make a phone call or grab a coffee with a trusted friend/family member, so you can express how you’re feeling, will not only lighten the load off your shoulders, but also start the healing process. You’ll start to feel connected and supported again. You’ll even have the opportunity to shed a tear and release some of the built-up emotions you may have been storing for a long time.

2. Find a way to take regular breaks.

I know you think the world might fall apart if you’re not there managing everything. But I can assure you, it’ll be okay. You have other trusted people around you that will manage just fine, if you take some time for yourself.

Start by setting a couple of hours for yourself each week to rejuvenate. Whether it’s a cuppa with a friend, a walk on the beach, and exercise or meditation class or picking up a hobby again. Starting a weekly self-nurturing ritual, so you to recharge your batteries and come back to wholeness, is essential.

This is non-negotiable ME time! You, are just as important as your loved one. Without you and all the wonderful nurturing abilities you share each day, your loved one/s may not survive, but you don’t want to harm yourself (physically, emotionally or spiritually) in the process.

3. Visit your GP and ask for help

It’s ok to ask for help. Your GP is a link to the whole health care system. They can advise you on the best path forward for your situation, objectively and without judgement. They will most likely understand you and your family situation more intimately and provide referral advice if necessary.

Asking a professional for advice can be scary. You may feel like you’ve failed, because you’re not coping like you should. Or you may even feel others will judge you for how you’re feeling. It’s ok to feel exactly how you’re feeling. Your trusted circle will listen without judgement, and care for you no matter what!

Your life is about giving and supporting people in need. Sometimes, it’s ok to reverse the care and receive love and support in return. You don’t need to expect love and support from the person/s you’re caring for, but it’s ok to receive love and support from others!

These 3 simple steps have the potential to start the healing process, but only if you choose to take action. Your amazing strengths are needed now more than ever, so please take the time to look after yourself, so you give more of yourself in the future.


  • Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling
  • Take some ‘ME’ time
  • Ask for help!

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you experienced carer burnout and reached the other side? What steps did you take and what advice can you give the TCPM community so we can all come back into balance? Please leave a comment and share your story. Your story may help more people than you realise.

Sending you mountains of love, as you come back into balance!

Jude xx



  1. Shellie

    Thinking I was invincible and putting everyone’s needs before my own led me to my lowest point ever.. a total emotional breakdown.

    DO NOT neglect yourself.

    • Jude

      Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing your story Shellie! You definitely have the ability and experience to educate and inspire through your personal journey. Sending you and Tom masses of love today and always 💕

  2. Robyn Proellochs

    Thanks Jude as always for your kindness, wise words and commitment. I have come through Covid relatively unscathed only because I have been able to get out and about most days and support my lovely clients even if it has been for a couple of hours a day. My daughter who has a disability has also been able to get out for a couple of hours and go for a walk and have a chat to her wonderful carers. The simple act of a walk in the fresh air, sunshine on your face a friendly chat to a trusted friend does wonders for the soul. Hopefully restrictions will be lifted soon and life for all of us can go back to some kind of normal. Thankyou for reminding me to look after myself as I feel I haven’t sat down since Xmas and probably haven’t. So im off to run myself a bubble bath, grab a wine and have 1 whole hour to myself. Cheers!! xx Robbie

    • Jude

      YAY to you Robbie!!! What a wonderful way to truly nurture yourself. Thank you for your inspiring others to take the simple steps needed to reconnect and love from the inside. Big love ❤️

  3. aileen

    My biggest disappoint was from my daughter who judged me as me being Robyns problem that I was a control freak I have looked after Robyn for 52 years on my own and in that time this daughter has Never offers to give me a break or even offer to take me out for a coffee but is very quick to judge so now I have had to cut her from my life to safe guard myself when she raised her hand to me
    very sad and as if I don’t have enough to contend with watching Robyn failing everyday and forgetting who I am but with my support staff we carry on to do the best we can to make her happy and keep her safe

    • Jude

      Dearest Aileen, Thank you so much for sharing your feelings! I can’t imagine the challenges you’re facing right now 😔. Please know we’re here to help when ever you need us. Sending so much love to you, Robyn and your amazing support team! 💕

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