The stress of caregiving can be an overwhelming experience for both the caregiver and the one needing care. If you’re stressed out when providing care, you may accidentally project anger, resentment, or burnout toward your loved one. It is imperative that you know the signs of stress within yourself and find ways to cope and manage them. Here are three strategies to help you reduce your stress while caring for an older loved one:
1. Know when to ask for help and accept help! “I need help,” is the one phrase that a lot of people struggle to say. Know that caregiving is a stressful job to take on and accepting help from family, friends, or other loved ones will help relieve tension.
2. Attend therapy or join a caregiving support group. Sometimes just being able to talk about your stressors or difficult situations can help clear your mind or give you a new perspective. Plus, you could walk out with some extra guidance on how to approach situations that may arise during caregiving like financial problems, depression and/or isolation, time management, or lack of privacy.
3. Take some time for yourself! Caregiving is a stressful around-the-clock job. Don’t forget your needs during the process. Read that book you haven’t touched in a while, watch that show that makes you laugh, write down your thoughts in a journal, or do anything else that helps you to relax or brings you joy. Your mental health is important throughout this journey.