Today’s Caring Support Podcast Episode is part of a special series called the “Caring Support Care Kit” where we talk about how we and healthcare workers can take care of ourselves on a day-to-day basis. We were very lucky to have with us the amazing Karisa Haverkamp, Registered Psychotherapist, Founder and Clinical Director of Blossoms Counselling in Brantford, Ontario.
I'm a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Specialist. I work primarily with young moms, working moms. We do witness and see a lot of burnout and caregiver stress through the roles that they carry. I also have experience working with complex trauma on the Six Nations Grand River Reserve and I've been working ten years in the field in general.
Burnout is a severe stress condition. Essentially, it's caused by when you experience chronic stress over a long period of time, it leads to severe physical and mental and emotional exhaustion. It's a serious condition and needs to be treated. It doesn't go away on its own. Symptoms of burnout would be frequent illnesses, irritability or impatience, trouble focusing and feeling overwhelmed as well as social withdrawal, and increased errors and mistakes at work. There are also symptoms that are similar to anxiety: increased heart rate and chest tightness. There can also be difficulty with sleeping, low energy and escape fantasies such as thoughts about travel or leaving the situation.
Read More: How to Recognize the Early Signs of Burnout?
Prevention can be difficult because it can be hard to recognize, especially if you're experiencing it for the first time. Oftentimes, your support system will be the first people to recognize that something's off. There are some behavioural changes, or you seem to be more tired or less involved or engaged with life. It's important to tune into your body. Notice if you're holding any tension or stress. Some things you can do to prevent it would be regular exercise, eating healthy, sleeping, also asking for help and tapping into your social support network would be the primary pillars to self-care in terms of preventing prevention for burnout.
The busier you are, the harder it is to get those things in. If your car was running out of gas, you'd have to fill it up. You can't run an empty car either. We tend to fill ourselves up last and take care of everybody else first. It doesn't continuously work that way because you run empty.
Karisa Haverkamp is a Registered Psychotherapist and certified perinatal mental health specialist. Karisa has a private practice in Brantford ON. Karisa empowers women to live authentic and fearless lives during pregnancy, motherhood and beyond. Karisa treats anxiety, depression and chronic stress. She has 10 years of experience in the field including working with people from six nations of the grand river as a complex trauma therapist. Karisa is a mother of four and enjoys reading, running and weightlifting. Karisa is passionate about creating safe space to empower women to gain clarity and connection and to move forward with greater calm, confidence and joy.
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