Caregiver burnout: Laughter really is the best medicine

Nicole M. Clagett Image
Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Family caregivers who are challenged daily with managing and mastering schedules, appointments, tasks, resources, and risks most likely experience caregiver burnout. It's inevitable that constant juggling will result in a need for release. While the last thing a caregiver may feel like doing is "laughing," you should know many experts suggest that laughing even when faced with life's most difficult situations is incredibly important for a caregiver's physical and mental health.

Laughing reduces stress and causes hormones that are good for you to be released within your body. Caregivers often feel bogged down by all the external stressors they are up against. Laughing can help you decompress and lift your spirits.

Laughter may seem inappropriate in various situations but just because you laugh does not mean you are making fun of your loved one or the situation you are in. Laughing can help you deal with emotions so they do not stay bottled up inside where they can cause you harm and further burnout.

And, your laughter doesn't indicate you don't care or understand the gravity of a particular situation. This is often why we see laughing and crying at funerals or even in hospital waiting rooms. Laughing in response to even the saddest circumstances helps you deal with your emotions.

In the above video, you will find helpful tips on how you can bring laughter back into your life. This video guides you through laughter exercises from laughter yoga instructor Lisa Levine, director of programs with Dementia Alliance of North Carolina.

If you are caregiving for a loved one and would like to get connected with others in our community who are walking the same path, join ABC11's Caregivers Corner moderated by Nicole Clagett. The group has 1800+ people supporting one another and sharing wonderful information and resources daily. More helpful tips about this topic can be found on ABC11's Caregivers Corner section.