If you are a caregiver for a senior loved one, you know how tough it can be, both mentally and physically. It can be overwhelming, especially if it becomes a full-time job! You need to expect some adjustments and know that even if it’s hard to manage the stress, there are ways to do it that will help you. We’ve put together several coping skills so you can deal with the tough times that always come from being a caregiver around the clock.
Here are some tips to reduce caregiver stress:
Take Time for Yourself. Caregiving is demanding of your time. Be sure to make time to spend with the other loved ones and friends in your life. Keep doing hobbies you love, read good books and be kind to yourself. Simple things like taking a walk can help you gather your thoughts and recharge your battery. Meditation and breathing are also very helpful!
Ask for Help. No one can do this alone. You will absolutely need to be free to ask for help or you’ll head straight into caregiver burnout! Asking for help is not a sign of failure. Not only does it give you a break, but it gives other people the opportunity to get involved in your loved one’s care. Consider finding a support group or check into an adult daycare facility—they are there to help you!
Stay Healthy. Caregivers face an increased risk of cardiac disease and diabetes. Don’t neglect your own health while you’re caring for someone else! There is no doubt you are more vulnerable to things like colds and flu, so be sure to eat healthy meals and get the sleep you need. Stay active, and exercise regularly—it is a great way to work out the stress!
Set a Schedule and Plan Ahead. Make a to-do list so you can check off the things that are important for that day. A routine is critical to success in caregiving, and it will also help the patient when they know what to expect next. Removing unknowns will create peace and stability. Plan ahead for meals, doctor appointments and visiting time with friends and family!
Finally, remember that there are tons of resources to help and support you! Be sure to take advantage of them. We are always here to help, so if you need more tips on coping with stress, contact us today!