While being a caregiver can be immensely rewarding as you get to spend time with a loved one and provide them the care you know they deserve, that does not mean that it comes without its stress.
Some signs of caregiver stress include:
- feeling tired
- feeling overwhelmed
- frequently feeling worried or sad
- becoming irritated or angry easily
- frequent headaches, bodily pain, or other physical problems
- loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
It is crucial to address caregiver stress early because leaving it unchecked can harm yourself or impact the care you provide your loved one. Below are some ways to reduce caregiver stress.
Avoid Taking on Too Much
Take a good look at all your responsibilities and avoid taking on any extra tasks that are more than you can handle. Sometimes we feel guilty saying “no”, but it’s important as a caregiver to keep in mind that there is only so much time in the day and taking on too much responsibility will stress you out and take away from time you should spend on doing things for you.
It’s all too easy to drift away from friends and family when you are a caregiver, but it is essential to retain these relationships for your personal well-being. Support groups are another valuable resource for caregivers full of individuals going through similar scenarios, and many caregivers find solace communicating with, and learning from, other caregivers.
Focus on Yourself
When the tasks of caregiving pile up, it can be hard to set aside time for activities you enjoy, and you may find you reach a point where you feel guilty doing something for yourself. To avoid caregiver stress, it’s important to still take this time for yourself to do whatever brings you joy, without any guilt. It’s an essential part of your mental health, so in the long run, it will improve the care of your loved one too.
Ask For (and Accept) Help
Sometimes, one of the hardest things to do is admit that we need help. We often want the world to see that we can handle every responsibility that we pile on our backs but being in charge of too many things can become overwhelming.
Acting as a caregiver is a big job with many tasks, and there is no shame in asking others for help. Even if there are no other family members or friends nearby, many tasks can be handled long-distance, such as scheduling appointments, handling finances, and making calls to arrange CNA or Home Health Aide services.
Hiring in-home assistance or home healthcare is another option to help take some tasks off your plate. Not only can you breathe a little easier without so much to do, but you can be sure that the tasks are completed by a qualified individual who has ample experience in their field. This extra help allows the family to spend quality, relaxing time with their loved one, without being a caregiver.
Allcare Home Health offers in-home respite services as well as hourly care for family caregivers who need a break. Reach out to our Client Care Manager at (919) 301-0236, and let our experienced team lend a helping hand.
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7 Caregiver Support Groups for Caregiver Stress (2022).