You may or may not be aware that caregiver stress is pretty common nowadays. Many caregivers are middle-aged women who are trying to juggle raising kids, work and caring for an elderly parent. With all of these demands, even the most resilient individuals can succumb to stressors, and this can lead to anxiety and depression. Thus, it is vital for caregivers to take good care of themselves. If you’re tasked with taking care of your loved one, how do you prevent caregiver stress? Here are some ways:
Look for Support
If you’re constantly taking care of a loved one, no one can fault you for seeking support. You shouldn’t feel guilty that you get tired and stressed out. If you need to ask for in-home care assistance even for just a day, do it. There are many businesses that offer this service. Husky Senior Care, for one, has available support for seniors, anywhere they may be.
Another type of support system is caregiver groups. In recent years, the growing elderly population requiring constant care gave birth to tons of support groups. Here, you can find people who share your feelings. They offer tips and advice on how to make your life easier.
Set Goals and Plan Your Day
Often, stress occurs because you can’t figure out how you are going to finish all your tasks. Before beginning your day, set a goal of what you should accomplish. You may want to break big tasks into simpler ones that are easier to accomplish. It would help to create a plan or a list and start adapting to a daily routine.
Caregiver stress can also result from isolation. It is pretty common for primary caregivers to spend their entire day with their loved ones, making it hard to socialize. You can prevent the feeling of isolation by finding time to go out. Some home care services provide events and gatherings that you can attend. Take advantage of those so you can also stay connected with friends and other like-minded individuals.
If you’re feeling stressed and unappreciated, don’t hesitate to open up. Often communicating your needs can cause significant changes in your overall emotional health.
Lessen the Guilt
Family caregivers often feel burnout because they feel guilty. The guilt stems from feeling inadequate. For instance, if their loved one complains about their cooking, the caregiver might feel that what they are doing is not good enough and that they should strive harder to please their loved one. This should not be the case. You, as a primary caregiver, are already doing an excellent job by accepting the difficult task of caring for your loved one. Don’t feel guilty if you make a mistake. Focus on what you can provide instead of stressing out about your shortcomings. Nobody is perfect, and no one requires you to be one.
Make Your Health Your Priority
Caring for someone else often results in caregivers overlooking their own health. It is common to experience loss of sleep, loss of appetite, and fatigue; all of these factors can cause undue stress. Make sure that you are doing regular health check-ups. Health check-ups also include psychological consultations.
Meditation and mindfulness can help you overcome caregiver stress. Set aside a time each day to meditate, and this will bring you immense joy. You can either do this in the morning to start your day or before sleeping to help you unload the burdens of the day.
If you feel like succumbing to caregiver stress, don’t ignore it. Acknowledge the feeling and find ways to overcome it.