When it comes to providing care for your loved one, it can be an extremely gratifying journey. Many caregivers experience a stronger bond with their family member and are grateful for the extra time that they are able to share with them. The shift in family roles though, as well as the additional responsibilities and demands required can be extremely stressful. This means that stress relief becomes a rather essential part of the caregiving plan so that no one has to experience caregiver burnout, which is a potential danger when it comes to family caregiving.
Why Do Caregivers Need Stress Management?
Caregivers provide the lion’s share of assistance to their loved ones, especially as they begin to decline in health. There is enough stress involved when you discover that your elderly parent or loved one is struggling with illness or other impairments. It is the first instinct of many children and family members to ask what they can do to help, but rarely does a family plan to provide ongoing care to an elderly parent while they still work or have children in the home. Due to the way that generations have progressed through, this is often the case.
Caregivers often find themselves in a position where they already have quite a few responsibilities that they need to take care of already and adding caregiving to the list simply becomes overwhelming. There are ways to prevent the physical and emotional exhaustion that comes from caregiving, which includes stress management.
5 Stress Management Techniques That Help Prevent Caregiver Burnout
Before your stress begins to spiral out of control, it is important to start practicing stress management. Practicing these techniques will help you manage your own health and well-being so that you are in a better position to help those who need it.
- Technique #1: Find Support – There are plenty of ways to stay in tune and in touch with support, which can include talking to a close friend or family member or joining a support group. Being social and maintaining connections is important for your mental well-being. Another option is therapy, and there are many therapists that specialize in this area who are able to provide additional resources for coping.
- Technique #2: Don’t Forget Your Own Health Screenings – Many caregivers sacrifice their own usual health checkups and screenings thinking that they are saving time. Unfortunately, the additional stress of caregiving leaves caregivers at risk to their own set of health problems. Many caregivers report an increase in colds, allergies, and illnesses related to a lowered immune system. Additionally, the stress can lead to an increased risk of heart issues. You can’t care for someone else if you aren’t able to care for yourself. Your own health checkups and screenings should be a priority.
- Technique #3: Maintain Physical Activities – Make sure that you continue to maintain a physically active lifestyle. Taking a few moments of time each day to take a walk, ride your bike, or enjoy Yoga will help you clear your mind and be more relaxed. It is also great for your health. Going out of your way to maintain physical activities is also a great way to increase Vitamin D, and boost your immune system.
- Technique #4: Keep The Sleep – Many caregivers experience insomnia, because they are worried and anxious about all of the things they are needing to do. Of course, if you experience caregiver burnout, you can feel like no matter how much sleep you get, it isn’t enough. Caring for others means that you should be well rested. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If you struggle with this, a routine that includes going to sleep at the same time every night and waking up at the same time every night, no matter what day of the week it is, can help.
- Technique #5: Respite Care Is An Option – Even the most experienced caregiver needs a break. Consider asking friends, neighbors, and other family members to take on specific tasks that will give you some time off. Additionally, private home care agencies can provide an aide to assist so that you are able to have a few hours to yourself.
Don’t forget that Homewatch CareGivers of Woodbridge is here for you. It is always a privilege to provide our clients with compassionate and professional assistance. Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have more questions or keep browsing our website for more information.