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July 6, 2022 13 mins

Whether noticing signs of anger or feeling overwhelmed with no help, understanding caregiver burnout is vital to combating its effects. That is why therapist and social worker, Lindsey Pace, became focused on helping those feeling caregiver burnout after working closely with folks caring for terminal family members. She counsels caregivers on how to recognize the signs of burnout, defuse the related stress with movement or mindfulness, and employ self-care tactics to find the joy in caregiving. Adjusting to major life changes can be difficult, but through strength and resilience, the  opportunities for growth and bonding with a loved one are never-ending. This episode is a shorter version of our conversation with Lindsey made for a shorter walk. 

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hi everyone. I'm Holly Robinson, pete actor, author, advocate, do
it All mom, and I'm also a caregiver. And this
is care Walks, a podcast from I Heart Radio and
Valteran Arthritis Pain Gel. It's a show for family caregivers
who give everything to everyone and need to make time

(00:22):
for themselves through movement. Every episode is designed for you
to walk as you listen, so just think of me
and my guests as you're weekly walking buddies. We'll hear
stories from caregivers and gain tips and insights from health
experts and advocates who know how important it is to
take care of yourself and manage joint pain due to
arthritis that often accompanies being a caregiver. Will discover community

(00:47):
ourselves and maybe even alleviate some joint pain due to
arthritis in the process as we walk together and connect
to the best parts of being a caregiver. I can't
believe it. We have arrived at our final episode for
this first season of care Walks. Thank you so much

(01:08):
for joining me on this journey. As a reminder, right
now you're listening to the abridged version of this episode,
but if you're looking to get a little extra inspiration.
Don't miss a minute. Check out the full length version
of this episode in your podcast feed. Setting out on
this journey, I was really excited to hear from other
caregivers and honestly curious to know how their experience was

(01:32):
similar or different to mine. Throughout this season, I've learned
so much from our guests, and I'm so grateful to
be part of this movement to recognize the needs and
well being of family caregivers. For this last episode, I
want to talk about caregiver burnout. Burnout isn't something we
typically are preparing ourselves for, so today we're also going

(01:56):
to dig into how we can keep burnout at Bay.
Later in the episode, you'll hear from Lindsay Pace, a
license therapist and advocate for those adjusting to major life
changes like becoming a caregiver. But before we get to
my conversation with Lindsay, let's get walking. Begin to let

(02:19):
go of any negative feelings you're holding onto and find
a sense of release. Allow this time to be about
you for you. Take a deep breath in through your

(02:39):
nose and now exhale out your mouth. Great job, as
you find your stride, Join me as I exp Laura.

(03:00):
How we can combat caregiver burnout with Lindsay Pace. Lindsay
Pace is a licensed therapist in Virginia who counsels folks
who are adjusting to stressful life changes, helping individuals who
are stuck in negative patterns and burnout by the demands
of caring for those around them. She's going to help

(03:22):
us recognize the signs of burnout, better cope with that
added stress, and reinforce our self care strategies to combat
caregiver burnout. Thank you so much for joining us today, Lindsay, Hi, Holly,
thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to
be here with you. I'm excited to talk to you.
Can you tell me what inspired your work as a

(03:43):
therapist and what what led you to focus on helping
those who care for others. Yeah. So, I'm a licensed
clinical social worker and I've been in the field about
sixteen years, and my first ten years were in hospice,
and so i ad in the hospice field where I'm
going into people's homes, working with patients who have a

(04:06):
terminal illness and working with the families and the caregivers
to help them process, feel supported, um navigate what's to come.
And it was through those years that I recognized how
much we ask of caregivers and how much is is

(04:27):
on them to do and the lack of you know,
unfortunately resources that they need to adequately care for themselves
while they're caring for somebody else. People experience a lot
of depression in the caregiving role and of course a
lot of overlap with burnout as well. So that's what
brought me to the field of working with caregivers. That

(04:52):
is fascinating work. You really looked at the caregiver aspect
of this. We always put ourselves at the back of
the line. So from your work, how do you see
the role of caregiver um and pushing our care for
ourselves to the back burner? How do you how do
you see that and what are ways that we can
speak to caregivers about that? Well. I think that the

(05:15):
individuals who find themselves becoming the primary caregiver usually are
naturally inclined to be feelers and attuned to the needs
of others, have more of a willingness to put themselves
on the back burner. I would say the biggest contributing
factor to burnout is feeling like you have the way

(05:38):
of this person's life on your shoulders and your shoulders only.
Maybe you think that nobody can do it like me,
therefore I'm not going to ask for help. Or maybe
the person does not have anyone they can ask for help,
and that would be a real contributor to the burnout
happening for Are there ways to ask that are effective

(06:03):
that you found? I think being specific is the best
way to ask for help instead of just saying hey,
I need help and expecting them to identify something that
they can do. Get very specific. I need help on
Tuesdays from one to three so that I can do
whatever it might be. Yeah, so just take the generality

(06:26):
out right. So being very specific, that's a great, great tip.
How do you think we can manage our expectations that
we have for ourselves as caregivers? Well, you know, everyone
comes to the caregiving position by different means. I would
say the first thing that we need to recognize is

(06:46):
that caregiving is costly. It is costly, you know, financially,
it is costly, physically, emotionally, mentally, on relationships. You know,
understanding that there is a cost to making this decision
and recognizing that there's also the potential for a great reward,
but I have to hold those at the same level

(07:07):
that there is going to be a cost, there will
be consequences, and there's also a reward opportunity here. As
far as adjusting expectations, I would encourage people, is there
just one thing, one thing that you can let go
of for a season. I always like to say for
a season, because caregiving does not last forever. I personally

(07:30):
loved using shipped for my groceries, and that is time
that saved for me. And yes, I might pay a
little extra, but it saves me that time and that
energy that I would rather give to my family. Those
kinds of things can be really helpful in conserving energy
when energy is already low. The physical toll of caregiving,

(07:52):
uh can is. It's can really be difficult on the body.
So what are some of your favorite self care practices
that help you prioritize movement or find stress relief, either
physically or emotionally. Well, I used to be better at
this than I am now. Um. In fact, I have
a goal to get back outside and walk daily. But

(08:15):
if I'm not able to do that, it might be
that I'm turning on music dance video on YouTube and
just dancing like a crazy person with my kids, and
it gives us an opportunity to move and connect and laugh,
and those things are vital to disrupting the stress or

(08:37):
the exhaustion that might be going on. I love that
this podcast encourages caregivers to walk while they listen. That's
just a wonderful motivation and it gives people, Okay, it's
my podcast time. I'm going to go and do this
walk now. Because simply being outside moving your body can
help relieve some of the stress and pressure that you're carrying.

(09:00):
There is not one great way to be a caregiver
that's going to assure that you have no resentment and
no guilt and no frustration, and so connecting with other
people can be very healing, very validating, and perhaps give
you hope to move forward through the caregiving journey. So, lindsay,

(09:22):
when you're starting to recognize the symptoms of burnout, how
can caregivers work through these negative feelings and avoid taking
it out on those around them? Great question, and I
would like to say that there is no way we
can avoid these negative feelings. The goal, especially when I'm

(09:42):
working with clients and private practice. We're not trying to
get rid of or eliminate any of these negative thoughts
or feelings. We're trying to choose a new way to
respond to them and interact with them, acknowledging those negative
feelings with acceptance, with compassion, and without judgment. I have

(10:05):
an exercise if you'd like to hear about it. It's
called dropping the anchor. Oh, come on right, Yes, this
is not my my creation. This is from acceptance and
Commitment therapy. Russ Harris is the developer, and it's a

(10:25):
very simple technique based on a metaphor of a boat
going out to see. When the boat's going out to
sea and it notices that a storm is coming up,
it's um got a couple options. It can return to
the shore, but likely the storm's going to catch up
to it. It can continue on its course, but then

(10:46):
it's definitely going to meet the storm. Or it will
drop its anchor. And usually the boat's going to drop
its anchor because the anchor will steady the boat through
the storm. Now the boat will still rock, right, the
waves are still going to hit the boat, but it's
not going to be as detrimental as if it had
race back to shore or just sped on through the storm.

(11:10):
So we often, whether we're a caregiver or not, can
find ourselves in emotional storms where we are overwhelmed with
our thoughts and our feelings and worries about the future.
Instead of getting swept away by that storm, we might
still have some of the storm remnants going on, but

(11:30):
we have a little bit more space to be able
to act in a way that aligns with our values
and keeps us from causing more harm. That's awesome the engagement.
I love the engagement and an opportunity to just drop
that anchor, drop that anchor. I love that. So Lindsay,
it has been awesome speaking with you, and just thank

(11:52):
you so much for the work that you do. Thank
you so much for having me. I'm so grateful to
be here and to share my experience, and hopefully any
caregivers that are listening have some good practical takeaways to
help them on their journey. Thanks again to Lindsey Pace
for joining me for our last episode of care Walks.

(12:16):
Our conversation today and certainly all of our time together
has taught me so much about prioritizing self care. Burnout
is so real and when we learn to recognize the
signs and make healthier choices as caregivers, we honor our
role and we honor the ones we love too. I'm

(12:36):
sad to say goodbye for now as we close out
this first season of care Walks, but I want to
thank everyone who is listening for letting us join you
every week on your walk. I hope you continue to
use this resource throughout your caregiving. Keep walking, You're doing great,
and until next time, don't forget to always take care

(12:59):
of yourself too. Care Walks is produced by iHeart Radio
and partnership with volter In Arthritis pain Gel and hosted
by me Holly Robinson Pete. Our executive producer is Molly Sosha.
Our head engineer is Matt Stillo. This episode was written
and produced by Sierra Kaiser, with special thanks to our

(13:22):
partners at G s K Platform, g s K, Weber, Shandwick,
and Edelman.
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