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Caregiver Fatigue: When Tired Learn To Rest Not Quit

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When you are experiencing fatigue as a busy caregiver, take heart and be gentle with yourself. Rather than stopping, let us learn to rest not quit. Sometimes a brief pause can make all of the difference.


When we are tired and face challenging situations, it can be very easy to stop, turn, and walk away. But unless we want to keep starting and stopping things from scratch, we must learn to rest not quit.

It took me a while to learn this because of my background and the way I was raised. To be honest, I STILL sometimes get feisty and feel like I want to throw my hands up in the air and quit things – but I don’t, and I won’t. At least not without a lot of forethought.

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Quote By Banksy

Did you know “learn to rest not quit” is a quote?

The quote is credited to a gentleman named Banksy who resides in England and is a graffiti artist and activist.

The formal quote reads:

If you get tired, learn to rest and not to quit.


The Fallout Of Quitting

Sometimes quitting can be a good thing, and there are definitely times to do so.

However, sometimes we can get into a cyclical habit of starting and stopping projects, endeavors, jobs, relationships, etc., and this is when it might be a good idea to take a pause and really look at some patterns of behavior.

If you find you are starting and stopping things but then feel remorse after doing so, you may want to ask yourself if you moved too soon or quit during an emotionally stressful time.

Serial quitting can be due to a fear of failure. An extreme fear of failure is called atychiphobia, and it can cause people to avoid situations where there is a potential for failure.

Avoiding life and opportunities can lead to feelings of shame, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.

Ross Perot

Starting and stopping things can also be due to a fear of success. If we are worried about the perceived negative consequences of success (ex. added responsibility, isolation, change, judgment, etc.) we thus might try to avoid it.

Sometimes if we have regrets over quitting we can feel anxious or unsettled. And even if quitting was the right thing to do, it is common to have feelings of guilt, shame, fear, and a sense of failure afterward.

It is also common to fear jumping back on the horse into a new endeavor if we’ve quit several times prior, as we don’t want to feel guilty, ashamed, or feel that sense of failure again.


Quitting Isn’t Always Better

Even though we may feel exhausted, and frustrated, and want to give up, quitting isn’t always better.

There is no going back when we quit. And if we do decide to quit, and then decide we want to go back again, it is usually not the same.

Quitting is final, whereas taking a pause or rest is temporary.

Why We Should Learn To Rest Not Quit

Being a caregiver is hard work, and it is usually a long-term game that takes quite a bit of endurance, steadfastness, and patience.

Allowing negative heightened emotions to take over and control our actions while caregiving can have negative consequences, not just for the ones we love and are caring for but for us as well.

Learning to stop, pause, and take a moment to rest our bodies, both physically and mentally, is healthy and will sustain us as caregivers over the long run.

Caregiver fatigue and burnout are real. Those who experience this kind of caregiver stress can feel anxiety and depression, as well as guilt for wanting to quit or even just take some time out for themselves.

None of these feelings are abnormal, if fact they are perfectly normal when you are deeply involved in caring for a loved one who needs you.

Taking some time to gather yourself and take care of yourself is a good way to get ahead of caregiver fatigue and burnout.

Everyone needs time to rest and rejuvenate, and as a busy caregiver, it is important to take regular breaks throughout the day.

Often you will find you have much more patience, clarity of thought, and focus when you return.


Learn To Rest Not Quit – 5 Helpful Tips

Here are some tips I find helpful when I am leaning toward quitting versus taking a pause and resting instead.

5 Helpful Tips To Learn To Rest Not Quit

  1. Change your state of mind

    What we think greatly impacts how we feel.

  2. Nourish and fuel your body

    The quality of the food we eat, and how well we nourish our body, has a great impact on our thoughts and mood.

  3. Exercise

    Exercising is a great way to lift your mood, and reduce stress and anxiety.

  4. Practice gratitude

    Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to shift your thoughts and emotions to a positive state.

  5. Talk to a mentor or supportive friend

    Talking to a mentor or supportive friend can help you cope and process emotions.

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Edward Everett Hale

Change your state of mind

What we think greatly impacts how we feel.

Learning to change your state of mind can be challenging but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

If I am having a “bad attitude” day, I make a point of changing my thoughts to a more positive state of mind and it works!

Nourish and fuel your body

How well we fuel our body has a great impact on our thoughts and mood.

Aim to eat lots of real food, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains versus processed junk food.

And make sure to hydrate your body with lots of water!


Exercising is a great way to lift your mood, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Exercise releases feel-good hormones to help us feel more calm, centered, and relaxed.

The key to exercise is finding something you enjoy, and it doesn’t have to be anything extremely strenuous. Just getting out and moving in any capacity is helpful.


Bowflex dumbbells (I’ve owned this set for years. Pure quality and well worth the investment. Saves you from having to buy all of your dumbbells separately, and saves space too!

Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to shift your thoughts and emotions to a more positive state.

How we think affects how we feel, so practicing gratitude is a powerful tool to help us stay positive.

This is one mindfulness practice that has helped me cope tremendously as a busy caregiver.

Talk to a mentor or supportive friend

Talking to a mentor or supportive friend can help you cope and process emotions.

Sometimes it is good to ‘talk it out’ and gain a different perspective from someone you trust.

You do not have to manage difficult feeling alone.

Allow Yourself To Rest And Rejuvenate

Sometimes as a caregiver, we will use it like a badge of honor to show the world, or our close friends and family, how good we are.

Caregivers can fall into the unhealthy trap of associating how much they deserve to be loved, based on how much they love and take care of others.

This is way too much pressure to put on yourself, and it is important to understand caregivers need care too.


Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence (one of my favorite devotional books)

It is not selfish to take care of one’s health, and we cannot make ourselves a martyr in order to feel worthy and accepted.

Making big goals, and having unrealistic expectations is also a set-up for failure.

It is important to learn how to develop healthy habits and to practice them daily, as it is an excellent form of self-care and it sets a wonderful example and precedent for the rest of our friends and family.

Eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking care of our mental health are all wonderful examples of healthy habits.

Reaching out to friends and family, or a professional if needed, is perfectly okay. It takes courage to share your story, and it is a sign of strength and self-love, not weakness.

Joining a support group for caregivers is also another option. You can do this within your community, and you can also join the Parkinson’s and Us online community. You would most definitely be welcome!

Join Our Community!

So the next time you are feeling stressed and anxious like you just want to quit, stop and take a deep breath. You do not have to quit, you can pause and just rest for a time.

Use the examples I mentioned to help you rest and to get back to the beautiful caregiver that you are. You’ve got this!

VIDEO: How I’ve Learned To Rest Not Quit As A Busy Caregiver

YouTube player

More Healthy Lifestyle Tips For Caregivers

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  1. Love this! So helpful. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just wanted to quit. This is a saying also, and oh so true:
    If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to care for others.What you are offering here, is the perfect way to take care of self.
    Thank you Dawn, this is wonderful!

  2. I love this, rest don’t quit! Such a good reminder of what to do to help us rejuvenate when we feel like we’re just done!