How to Manage Stress as a Family Caregiver
Taking care of an ill or aging loved one requires a lot of physical and emotional energy. If you’re starting to feel run down or burned out, here’s what you can do to recover.
Recognize the Signs of Caregiver Stress
Caregiver stress is real and comes with a host of symptoms. You may feel:
• Worried or anxious
• Tired regardless of how much sleep you get
• Increasingly irritable
• Sad, depressed or withdrawn
• Unable to handle your responsibilities
Before caregiver stress becomes serious, reach out for help. Look for local resources to assist with transportation and housekeeping to alleviate these mundane tasks from your schedule.
If you have family and friends that can share duties, it may be wise to ask for their help. However, if everyone has a busy schedule, reaching out for professional assistance through Caring Home Care’s respite service is another option available to you.
Stay Connected with Others
It’s not uncommon for caregivers to feel isolated. Keep the lines of communication open with friends and family, and make time to see people face-to-face.
Avoid skipping regular gatherings, such as church services or monthly dinner dates with your spouse. Getting out of the house helps you maintain a sense of normality and is essential for your emotional health.
Seeking support through a local caregiver group can also provide an outlet for stress and reminds you that you’re not alone. Others in the group understand the struggles you face and can offer comfort when needed.
Prioritize Personal Health
Neglecting physical needs leads to many of the symptoms of caregiver stress, so it’s important to stay active, eat well, and make time for 7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep each night. These should become priorities, even if you have to start saying “no” to other activities you are invited to participate in.
Continue to pursue your hobbies, as well. This is good for your mental health because it provides miniature breaks from the burdens of caregiving by allowing you to focus on something you enjoy during the day.
Don’t let yourself get stressed or burned out to the point where you’re unable to make reasonable choices regarding your loved one’s needs. Take care of yourself so that you can continue to be a strong and supportive caregiver.
If you need help with daily tasks, transportation, meal prep, bathing, or fall prevention assistance, contact Caring Home Care today. Our certified in-home caregivers are here to help you and your family.