Family caregiving can mean anything from taking care of a family member with a mental or physical disorder, to taking care of an elderly person who just needs a little extra help. Whomever you are taking care of, its no secret that it is a stressful responsibility. Do not let that stress build up and take over your well-being. Here are a few tips to help you unwind and dissipate the stress that comes hand in hand with family caregiving.
1. Stay knowledgeable
Learn as much as you possibly can about the illness or weaknesses of the person (s) you are taking care of. Speak to their doctors about the family caregiving responsibilities that you will have and how to do them efficiently. The more you know about why your family member needs your help, the better you will be able to help them. Also, the more you know about the job that lies ahead of you, the less anxiety and stress you will feel. The less stress you feel, the more efficient you will be helping your loved one.
If you yourself are not healthy, how can you take are of someone else’s health? Maintain a regular exercise routine, eat healthy, and take care of any other physical needs before trying to help someone else with theirs. Not only does staying healthy promote good physical health, it promotes good mental health as well. Numerous studies have shown that exercising helps to clear the mind and relieve stress. Try taking a run when you are feeling very stressed out, you will feel much better afterwards.
3. Set limits
There is no real life superman, this means that you have limits! Recognize that you cannot possibly do everything. Speak to your loved ones, their doctors, and any others who may be involved with family caregiving. Come up with limits that allow you to help your family member and still stay sane. Once you have those limits, make them clear with anyone involved. If other caregivers are involved, create a schedule with them and delegate the tasks between yourself and the other caregivers. Realizing that you cannot and do not have to do everything will lower your stress level immensely.
4. Seek help
This category flows quite smoothly with setting limits. Once you know your limits, what do you do with the extra care that you cannot deal with? Research care facilities in your area that can help either full or part time. They can help you even if you need an hour break to go grocery shopping and have no one to watch your loved one. These community facilities will help you breathe easy knowing that your family member is in the hands of caring professionals.
5. Stay social
Friends are an excellent way to relieve stress. Family caregiving takes a lot of time, but don’t let it take too much time. Make room for a social life. When you are with your friends, make an effort to forget about the stress of family caregiving and relax a little while. This will ultimately help you be a better caregiver.
6. Talk to someone
Lastly, speaking to someone about the problems and stress that you are facing can help lift a weight off your shoulders. It helps to talk to someone who understands what you are going through whether it be a friends, another family member, or a support group. However, it can be helpful to talk to a perfect stranger as well. Find what works best for you.
Rest easy knowing that you do not have to do everything and you are not alone. Also, remember to keep your stress level low that way you can be a great caregiver to the ones you love.
If you still feel like your stress is too much to handle, visit Care Club and get help.