Caregivers are great people; they take on the task for the health of a loved one and often don’t think twice about it. They take their responsibility very seriously. But it’s also important for caregivers to know their limits so they can still enjoy life without feeling overwhelmed, overstressed, or angry at the person that they’re caregiving.
If you’re a caregiver, don’t wait until your health, marriage or life falls apart.
The Caregiver’s Seven Tips to Reduce Stress
1) Monitor yourself. Self-care is essential for well-being; make sure you’re getting enough sleep and feeding yourself well. Create time management slots for relaxation.
2) Engage in enjoyable activities – take a walk, swim, do yoga or other exercise. Listen to music; garden or go to a music concert or a movie. See friends or chat on the phone. Finding joy in your life is necessary to retain a balance when a loved one is ill. Work on having compassion for yourself as well as your loved one.
3) Don’t wait until you’re at your rope’s end before you ask for help. It’s not unusual for caregivers to seek out advice from social service agencies since having the responsibility caring for a loved one can be an extremely taxing job. Take advantage of their services; discuss the next steps for your loved one with a social worker. They can be found at agencies, or the hospital or facility where your loved one is lodged. If you’re depressed, get the help you need from a psychologist or other mental health professional. Seek support from other caregivers.
4) Realize you don’t have to do it all yourself. Recruit family members for chores; order Meals on Wheels or hire someone to help out with meals or other tasks. Ask your kids or spouse for assistance with caregiving. Tell them YOU NEED HELP and if you have any siblings, ask them to chip in for financial contributions for their parent if necessary.
5) Become knowledgeable about your loved one’s condition to help you in discussions with doctors or nurses. It will also help you in making informed decisions about your loved one’s care.
6) Define personal boundaries. For example: if the person you’re caregiving is in a facility, reassess visiting every day. It may be too taxing for you and you could exhaust yourself; know your limits. Recognize you have the ability and right to say “no”. If necessary, arrange back up.
7) Verbalize your needs. If the loved one to whom you are caregiving does not treat you kindly, in a calm way, let her/him know that you don’t appreciate how she/he is treating you and that you don’t deserve it. Speak up, but don’t resort to yelling or screaming – it accomplishes nothing and you’ll feel guilty. Be kind but don’t allow manipulation.
Click on Rosalie’s Radio Interview below – about Caregiving, Stress-Relief and Well-Being on blogtalkradio.com – Boomerand Babe:
More information on caregiving can be found in Rosalie’s best selling book/Ebook, “Frazzled Hurried Woman! Your Stress Relief Guide to Thriving. . .Not Merely Surviving”, www.healthinharmony.com/author