One of the worst issues that caregivers have to deal with is their own stress. If you’re ignoring it or pretending that it will take care of yourself, you’re going to be very disappointed. You have to face your stress head on. When you do that, you’re going to find that you’re able to be the caregiver you wanted to be all along.
Get Familiar with Your Stress Cues
Stress cues let you know that things are getting bad before they actually do get bad. When you’re constantly stressed, though, it’s difficult to tell when a new round is going to start. The key is to start learning what the beginnings of stress feel like for you. as you start to recognize stress earlier and earlier, you’re going to be able to take action before you feel overloaded.
What Works for You?
Start realizing what works for you when you’re feeling stress and what doesn’t. Some people respond really well to physical methods of battling stress, like walking or doing yoga. Other people find that making something helps them to feel less stressed. Whatever it is that works for you, you need to do more of that. As a caregiver, though, sometimes it’s difficult to remember what you enjoy and what helps you to feel better. That’s where the next tip comes in.
Take Time Away on a Regular Basis
Start making it a point to take advantage of respite time. You don’t have to take a lot of time away, but you should be doing this on a regular basis. Hire elder care providers and then take time that is just for you. The first few times you’re taking respite, you might feel confused or even as if you shouldn’t be there. Keep going anyway. Eventually you’re going to find ways to use your respite time that recharge you and help you to get back to yourself again.
Don’t Wait to Get Help
Above all, don’t wait to get help if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed all the time. That’s not how this caregiving experience is supposed to work and you don’t have to push yourself that hard. Be good to yourself and make sure that you and your elder both have what you need.
Stress is a normal part of life, but constantly feeling overwhelmed by stress certainly isn’t. Get to know your stress a little better and you’ll learn how to defeat it.