Being a caregiver is a stressful, yet very rewarding job. Taking care of a loved one, spouse, parent, or patient is a big responsibility and can cause anxiety in some caregivers. Often, as caregivers, we choose not to acknowledge how we’re feeling or ignore certain signs. Recognizing these signs early on and taking appropriate action to effectively manage stress can be helpful in avoiding serious health-related issues.
It’s not uncommon as humans to feel anxious and stressed out every now and then, but for caregivers, sometimes it can find its way into our lives and burden us and our well-being. As caregivers, we are often concerned with the quality of care we are giving and handling all the responsibilities that come alongside it like finances. This can be overwhelming and cause anxiety, agitation, and distraction.
This can not only be detrimental to our caregiving responsibility but to our other responsibilities as a human in our own lives. Here are a few ways we can get ourselves back on track, better manage stress, and get a hang on the anxiety we feel.
Take a (mindful) time out
This might be one of the most valuable practices one can do. Taking a time out, even if it’s just 5 minutes, to sit or walk and focus on our breath will help create mindful space in our lives. Focusing on our breath can help bring us back to ourselves and physically calm our bodies.
You could also try a form of meditation. While there are many kinds, sitting for 5 minutes with eyes closed focusing only on our breath every day can be immensely helpful to our overall mental, emotional, and even physical well being.
Caregiver support groups
If there’s one thing to remember through the stressful and anxious times it’s that we are not alone. There are many options for support groups related to caregiving and for caregivers out there. Find one close to you or if you have other caregiver friends, ask them if they’d like to meet once a week for a support group.
Ask for help
Finding support groups or creating your own with other caregivers is always a great option, but don’t be afraid to ask non-caregiver family and friends for help. This responsibility is very demanding, and it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed out.
Asking for help from family and friends can be scary, but more often than not, our loved ones are there to support us. Ask them for assistance with chores and other specific tasks related to your caregiving if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Go to the source
Last but not least, acknowledging our pinpoints and source of stress and anxiety can be helpful in unraveling how they affect us. It can allow us to understand why we feel the way we feel and approach the situations one by one to tackle the problems and overcome them.
This is another great time to ask for help from family and friends. Talking these out with those we trust may help us see it and understand it more clearly.
Bonus! Stay physically active
Caregiving is demanding, but taking time to care for ourselves is important to keep in priority as best as we possibly can so that we can perform to our best abilities and keep ourselves happy and healthy.Physical activity comes in all shapes and sizes and doesn’t have to take hours, it provides great benefits, especially to caregivers. Here are a few reasons caregivers should stay physically active and a few tips on managing and implementing it into our routines.