Owners' Blog

How to Keep a Stress Diary

By Greg and Hilary Eldridge

Elder Care in Duluth GA

When you find yourself stressed out, especially when you're caring for your elderly loved one, you may not always know why right away. Keeping a stress diary can help you to spot trends both in what stresses you out and in what you do that helps you to be less stressed.

Describe the Situation that Stressed You Out

Take a few minutes to describe the actual situation that got you stressed. This can be something little, like you dropped a dish, or it can be something bigger, such as a problem with your loved one's health. Try to include as much detail as you can so that when you read the entry later you can easily remember what you're describing. You can also write the description of the situation right when it happens, then do the rest of the entry later.

Describe How the Situation and Your Stress Made You Feel

Each situation affects you differently. Some stressful situations might make you feel upset, angry, or disappointed. Other times, you might notice more physical symptoms, like your shoulders getting tight or being sick to your stomach. Try to make note of any details that you can think of about how you felt right in the moment.

Describe What You Did that Helped or that Hurt

Maybe in the moment, you remembered to try to use some of the skills you've learned to reduce your stress levels. It's entirely possible, though, that in the moment, you might not have remembered exactly what to do to help calm yourself down. If you did anything that made the situation worse, such as snapping at someone or letting yourself get even more worked up, the diary can help you spot the problem.

Describe What You Might Have Done Differently

In the calm after the storm, it's easier to see what you might have done differently that could have made the situation a lot better. Maybe making time for yourself and bringing in your loved one's elder care providers more often is one answer. If you can pay particular attention to this step, it can really help you in the future. The next time you're in a similar situation, you are more likely to remember the solutions that you dreamed up during this step and you can actually put them to good use.

This exercise doesn't take long but it can really help you a lot.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elder care in Duluth, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.