Being a caregiver can become stressful at times. You may become tired, exhausted and angry. You may begin to develop what’s known as “caregiver stress” which can take a toll on your everyday life and on your work. You become overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to take care of a loved one or a patient.
If you are a caregiver, understand that it can get better. The first step is recognizing the toll that it is taking on you and that you need help or guidance. Here are 5 tips to help you manage the stress that comes along with the job.
- Take time for yourself
Sometimes it is OK to focus on yourself. Find a hobby or an interest that excites you, whether it’s taking a boxing class, painting, reading a book or going to the mall with friends. Doing something you enjoy can improve your mood and reduce stress tremendously.
- Join a support group for caregivers
Joining a support group could be a good way to talk about what is happening and what is causing the stress. This could also be a good opportunity to listen to others’ stories and the advice they get and give and to understand you’re not alone.
Meditation may help with the stress that comes with caregiving. Meditation lets you forget about what is happening at work (caregiving) and lets you focus on yourself–your mind and body. Take time to forget about the outside world and focus on yourself.
- Reach out to family or friends
Because caregiving may feel isolating, you may start to feel alone. The benefits of reaching out to a friend or family could help tremendously. Go for coffee with a friend or go out to eat. Do not shut yourself off because you feel alone at work. Facetiming and chatting with a friend will even have positive benefits.
- Accept help
Accepting help is the first step to managing your stress.