The life of a caregiver can be stressful. It’s a full-time job, just like being a stay-at-home parent with children. Caregiver stress can come from the constant need to be available for help. Just as a kid will tug on your shirt all day asking for more milk and more mac and cheese, caring for an elderly person can be time-consuming. So much so that you lose track of time and the things you need to do for yourself.
As with any occupation, you need to create a good work-life balance. In order to remain healthy and avoid caregiver stress in your life, it’s important to have some time for yourself.
Know the Signs
During your busy days, you may not even realize the stress that’s accumulating. The one you’re caring for needs you, but the attention they require can become overwhelming. You do your best to keep a smile on your face and help them with whatever they need. But if you start to notice some of these symptoms, it’s time to start focusing more on yourself:
- Are you feeling irritable and overwhelmed?
- Do you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep (or too much)?
- Gaining or losing weight?
- Feeling sad?
- Getting frequent headaches?
These are only a few of the most common symptoms, but they often go overlooked as everyday issues. If you’re suffering from caregiver stress, they can easily fall into that overlooked category. But it’s important to treat them as real issues.
If you’re seeing any of the above symptoms in yourself, chances are you’re suffering from caregiver stress. In this case, it’s important to make a change in your lifestyle. While your job as a caregiver is important, your health is just as important as the health of the one you’re caring for.
To recover from any of the caregiver stress symptoms above, here are some suggested forms of relief:
- Exercise – Making a daily exercise regimen can do wonders for your body and mind.
- Seek support from peers – Talk to other caregivers who may be going through the same thing and ask them for advice. They’ve probably been exactly where you are.
- Try a new time-management scheme – Try some of our stress relieving tips to manage your time
- If nothing works, see a doctor – Remember that your health is important, not just for you, but for the loved one you’re caring for, too.
You’re Not Alone
If you’re suffering from caregiver stress and worrying that it’s something you’re doing wrong, or that you’re not doing your job well, don’t! Being a caregiver can be a difficult yet rewarding job. As a caregiver, you provide support to someone in need, and that can be one of the best feelings in the world.
Need some time off? Talk to us about our respite care services.