Yosaif August is a life coach who specializes in coaching family caregivers. More specifically, he teaches caregivers how to avoid becoming burned out. August knows this subject all too well, as he served as a caregiver for his mother, father, and mother in-law.
August explains, “Often when people are facing issues in their life such as personally dealing with a disability, or caring for a family member who has a disability, they tend to put their lives on hold to some degree. I’ve been a life coach for around five years now. When I was a caregiver for my family, I got burned out. My sense about it was that my life was meant for something other than what I was doing with it. I later became a writer and then trained as a life coach. Uplifting other caregivers has become a large part of what I do."
When asked how to avoid burn out, August explains.
“First off, you have to reach in before you reach out. Things that I know to be important are to first recognize what it is that you need, and to then look past the fog of being overwhelmed. When you’re exhausted and someone approaches you and asks, ‘What do you need right now?’, it’s hard for you to tell them specifically. So, what you have to ask yourself is what do I need practically, emotionally, and spiritually?”
“My approach to those kinds of needs is to break them down, approach each one at a time, and then reach out to people with what you need. It’s much easier for people to come forward to assist when you’re giving them a defined and confined opportunity.”
“Another way to avoid burning out is to look at your beliefs. If you believe that reaching out shows weakness, or that reaching out for help bothers people, or that by reaching out you’ll have to sacrifice your privacy, then the first step is to begin to notice and be aware of that. From there you need to reflect on what you believe. Once you’re more aware of these beliefs, you can challenge them and recognize what you are not getting by believing what you do.“
“There are also resources available for caregivers that can make their lives easier. Websites like Caring Bridge and Lots of Helping Hands are free, easy to set up, and easy to use. One of the most important recommendations is to free up some time for yourself and to do something that you would really like to do, even if it doesn’t have any social value. Having time to yourself is important.“
“Compassion and forgiveness are also important. Having compassion for yourself and forgiveness for yourself is crucial. You need to be prepared for extraordinary things to happen. There’s a lot of love and support out there. Once you’re unapologetic for asking for help and you’re able to offer opportunities to people that aren’t overwhelming to them, you’re well on your way to living a less-stressed life.”
In August’s book, Coaching for Caregivers, he walks you through these steps even further. You can purchase this book at http://yestolifecoaching.com/caregivers/coaching-for-caregivers-book/. For more information, visit his website at http://yestolifecoaching.com/.
Editors Note: Lisa has helped create several online social communities (Wheel:Life.org) for friends who use wheelchairs to help people discover new relationships, lifestyle resources and web-based support groups. Lisa guides healthcare providers in creating support programs and communication resources for people who have disabilities. A frequent speaker and guest columnist, you will find her presenting at disability and healthcare conferences nationwide.
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The opinions and experiences presented herein are for informational use only. Individual results may vary depending on your condition. Always consult with your health care professional. This individual has been compensated by Bard Medical for the time and effort in preparing this article for BARD’s further use and distribution. BMD/BMDA/0915/0037