6 Ways to Relieve Caregiver Stress
Being a caregiver can be such a rewarding career. People who are unable to care for themselves are relying on you to assist them in or perform tasks that they cannot complete themselves. Despite the rewarding nature of assisting those in need, the stress of caregiving is very real and can take a toll on you if you do not care for yourself alongside the person you are caring for.
Tips for Caregivers
- If you need help, do not wait to ask for it. If a person is becoming emotionally exhausting to you, it is easy to become frustrated or irritated. You want to provide the individual with excellent care! Take some time to yourself or see if there is another person who can help you with the individual as you work through this stress.
- Be sure to rest and take time for yourself. Do not overwork yourself! Enjoy recreational activities and provide yourself with down time away from the caregiving environment and enhance your personal well-being.
- Stay healthy through diet and exercise.
- Celebrate the little victories while working with someone. Maybe they have been unable to help with a certain task for weeks and now they are able to give some assistance. Enjoy these moments and try to have a positive attitude as situations arise.
- Try to imagine how the person you are caring for would react if they were healthy. Illness and discomfort can cause a great deal of anxiety, depression, and stress for an individual. Even though it doesn’t change the situation, it may change your outlook.
- Try to find activities that both you and the person you are caring for can enjoy together.
“Caregiving can have many rewards. For most caregivers, being there when a loved one needs you is a core value and something you wish to provide. But a shift in roles and emotions is almost certain. It is natural to feel angry, frustrated, exhausted, alone or sad. Caregiver stress — the emotional and physical stress of caregiving — is common.” –Mayo Clinic
Caring for another person blesses their lives immensely. You provide them with the support that they need to accomplish daily activities that they would otherwise not be able to complete. You may be the help that is allowing them to continue living at home rather than in a nursing home. Remember to not only think of others and their needs, but think of yourself as well. Sometimes it is okay to be a little selfish and take some time for yourself to prevent yourself from burning out.