When a loved one has cared for you for so long, there is no question that you want to return that same compassion and security back to them. However, acting as a caregiver may also bring about stress.
Caregiver stress may present as:
- Frequent headaches or body pain
- Becoming irritated or upset quickly
- Feeling overwhelmed or always worrying
- Feeling tired, possibly from too much or too little sleep
Caregiver stress can lead to depression, anxiety, or burnout, but there are ways to combat this stress.
Take a Breath – Take time to breathe and meditate. Start slowly- maybe you feel that you only have a minute or two to take a break, and work your way toward longer periods of relaxation for yourself.
Accept Help – Whether from a friend, family member, organization, or senior community, others are willing to help. By allowing yourself to take a break from caregiving, you can be the loved one to your family member without the stress of providing constant care.
Remain Understanding – Remind yourself if your loved one is acting out, that it may be due to their disease or ailment and it is not your fault.
Get Organized – Set and follow a daily routine. be sure to schedule in “you” time, as well as time for life- friends, family, and possibly work or school.
Find a Support System – This may come from friends and family who provide emotional support, or from a support group with other caregivers. Support groups may be in person, or online, and can provide tips for caring for your loved one and caring for yourself as a caregiver.
For more information on Coping with Caregiver Stress, join Tam Cummings, presented by The Langford, on March 19th at 6:00 pm. Please RSVP here: mrcthelangford.org/events