Being a caregiver is no easy task. In fact, it’s a full-time job that requires around-the-clock attention to make sure that our loved one is healthy and comfortable.
More times than not, a close family member will act as the caregiver to a spouse, partner, disabled child, or aging loved one. While being a caregiver is a rewarding experience because we are helping those closest to us, it can also be stressful.
While we want to give our loved ones the best care that we can provide, sometimes we have to take care of ourselves first.
In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the signs of caregiver stress as well as some tips on how to relieve these feelings of anxiety and pressure.
Signs of caregiver stress
Constant stress over long periods of time can be extremely harmful to a person’s overall health and sense of well-being. Caregivers are more susceptible to the symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Here are some signs of caregiver stress to be aware of:
- A constant feeling of being worried or overwhelmed
- Change in sleep schedule. Sleeping too much or too little
- Change in weight – either weight loss or gain
- Easily angered or irritated
- Increase in body aches or headaches
There are ways to manage the symptoms of caregiver stress, and that’s why it’s so important to take advantage of the following tips to help keep your health a priority.
Don’t be afraid to ask for or accept help.
A common feeling between most caregivers is that they have to do everything on their own and do not want to burden others with the task of taking care of their loved one. However, it’s important to be willing to accept help from others so that you can get the rest that you need to do the best job possible. Even if it’s just for an hour, take people up on the offer and use that time to relax and do the things that you enjoy.
Be as organized as possible.
We all experience feelings of panic, stress and anxiety when we feel that we have too much to do in too little time. That’s why staying organized and planning ahead will help you manage your stress. Start making a to-do list at the beginning of each day with the most important tasks that you need to get done. As you begin to cross these items off of the list, you’ll feel a sense of achievement and that you have a hold on your daily routine.
Make your health a priority.
You’re a caregiver, which means that you’re putting your needs on the back burner in order to tend to a loved one who needs your help. As we said before, being a caregiver is a rewarding experience, but it’s also a very strenuous, mentally-taxing job. It’s important to take time to make your health a priority. Put a sleep schedule into place schedule so that you can get the rest you need to care for your loved one at an optimal level. Don’t forget to nourish your body with healthy, energizing foods and drink plenty of water.