Recognizing and Coping with Stress as a Caregiver
Caring for the Caregiver
Being a caregiver is no simple task. Many caregivers give support to their parents or grandparents, and for others, caregivers step-in when family is unable or unavailable. No matter the relationship, caregiving is a noble profession that is often misunderstood or even goes unacknowledged. At Carespring, we are always looking for ways to care for our seniors and the people who care for them. If you are a caregiver, or know someone who is, it’s important to be aware of how this type of emotional work affects our bodies and minds. Here are some common side effects of work-related stress and some ideas for self-care and support.
How to Recognize Stress
Stress can present itself in people in many different ways. Although each person might react differently, some common signs of stress include:
- Feeling unusually tired
- A compromised immune system
- Inability to sleep deeply
- Avoiding things that usually bring you joy
It’s important to listen very carefully to our bodies, especially when the workplace or home can be intense or emotionally taxing. When you feel like you might be stressed, check-in with this simple 10 question stress test.
Tips to Cope
- Recognize when you need help. If the stress of caregiving gets to be too much, take advantage of other resources. In addition to caring for their senior, many caregivers have families of their own. Hiring additional help, whether it’s someone to cover a few hours during the day, or an extra pair of hands to help you with chores and food preparation, a little can go a long way. Accepting help when offered will help you maintain your own health and wellbeing.
- Take care of YOU. If you’ve ever been in airplane, you might remember that the flight attendant, in case of emergencies, always advises to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. When it comes to caregiving, the same concept holds true. Caregivers should make sure to take care of themselves by eating wholesome and nutritious meals. Exercising and participating in social activities will help caregivers maintain a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
- Do something you love! Most caregivers are selflessly committed to caring for and supporting their aging senior. Caregivers should be encouraged to make time for themselves by doing things they love. Trying new activities like painting, hiking, or taking some time off to relax with their friends and families will help them avoid stress, anxiety and workplace burnout. If extended vacations aren’t an option, a day trip can be a nice way to escape without breaking the bank!
Carespring nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky encourage all caregivers to take care of themselves, so seniors everywhere can receive the care and love they deserve!