Caregiver Stress, Redux

It never really went away, but with the world turned upside down, caregiver stress is gaining in strength. notoriety, and the amount of damage that it inflicts upon people who only want to help others.

Unless you’re the exception to the rule, if you’re a family caregiver, you’re gonna feel stress.

Stress is clever. It’s not always immediately recognized as the cause of a caregiver’s malady, because stress can take many forms. Have you experienced any of these symptoms?

  • Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight.
  • Feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed of action.
  • Sleeping too much or too little.
  • Feeling tired a large portion of the day.
  • Becoming easily angered or upset.
  • Feeling worried or sad often.
  • Feeling alone and isolated from others.
  • Losing interest in things that you would otherwise enjoy.
  • Experiencing headaches and body aches.

If any of these are happening to you, and didn’t already know it, that’s probably caregiver stress taking its toll.

So, what can you do to counteract those symptoms and keep yourself healthy? Here are some suggestions:

  • Be physically active most days of the week.
  • Educate yourself on your loved one’s condition, and learn what to expect.
  • Take time out to do things that bring joy.
  • Make certain that you are going to the doctor on a regular basis.
  • Ask for and accept help from others. Find caregiving resources in your community to help shoulder the responsibilities.
  • Get organized.
  • Join a support group for caregivers.
  • Trust that you are doing your very best.
  • Consider respite time away from caregiving.

How important is it to take care of yourself? Thirty percent of caregivers die before the person for whom they are giving care. Don’t join that club