Community Blog

Caregiver Stress: Let It Go Day

By Erin Carll

Caregivers in Wexford PA

If you are a family caregiver, stress is going to be a part of your life. This is simply a reality and something that is completely normal when you are trying to balance fulfilling the needs of an aging parent with also taking care of children, a home, a marriage, and career, and yourself. While occasional stress is completely normal and actually a way for the body to power through challenges and let you know when a situation requires more attention, caregivers often suffer from extensive or chronic stress that develops into further problems with their mental and emotional health, as well as issues with their physical well-being. Learning to recognize and release this stress is an important part of protecting yourself from the potential risks of stress and to continue being the highest quality caregiver possible for your aging parent.

June 23 is Let It Go Day. This is the perfect opportunity for you to turn your attention to yourself and focus on letting go of your stress so that you can enjoy a happier, healthier, and more in control care journey with your parent.

Use these tips to help you release your stress on Let It Go Day:

• Let go of your control. It is normal to want to be in absolute control of your parent's care. You love them and want to make sure that they are getting the attention, care, and support that they need and deserve. This, however, can put far too much pressure on you, which simply set you up for disappointment and a feeling of failure. Let go of your need for absolute control and be willing to accept help where it is offered. Whether this is more involvement from a sibling or neighbor, or the services of a home care provider, this help will take pressure off of you so that you can focus on other needs in your life.

• Let go of your guilt. Many caregivers experience feelings of guilt related to their care efforts. You might feel as though you are not doing enough or your parent might even influence these feelings by suggesting that you should be giving them more time and effort. If you know that you are fulfilling your parent's needs properly and that they are living comfortably and safely, let go of your guilt. Remind yourself that you have a life outside of your care efforts and that you deserve time to yourself, with your partner, with your children, and with others.

• Let go of your expectations. You are not perfect and you are never going to be. This means that your care efforts are not perfect either. Be willing to accept this and let go of your expectations to always do the "perfect" thing for your loved one. When you are willing to accept that you will make mistakes and that things will sometimes not work out the way that you expect them to you will find that your efforts are far less stressful. Taking this burden off of yourself lets you be more flexible and enables you to respond to life as it comes rather than always trying to force things to fit into what you think that they "should" be.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.​