You love the one you’re caring for. You put their needs ahead of your own. Sometimes it’s hard to admit that you need help or simply a break. The toll that caregiving takes isn’t just physical. Caregivers can also find themselves dealing with exhaustion, isolation, stress, and depression as well. As a matter of fact, the Family Caregiver Alliance and AARP noted that from 40 to 70 percent of caregivers exhibit signs of depression.
As a caregiver, you need to recognize that your physical and mental well-being is important too. Taking a break from your caregiving duties can help you to be a better caregiver in the long run.
Here are some tips for you to reduce stress:
- Do something you enjoy
You deserve time for yourself. Go for a walk. Get out in the garden. Read a book. Whatever activity you enjoy, you should allow yourself time to participate in it.
- Connect with friends and family
Don’t allow yourself to become isolated. You should keep up your friendships and relationships with other family members. Don’t lose yourself- Respite care will give you the opportunity to maintain your own life. You will have the chance to run errands, attend caregiver support groups, or see your doctor.
- Learn to say “No”
Some may not realize the time and energy it takes to be a caregiver. They may only think of you as being at home with no official job. If you do not learn to say no, you may become burned out.
- Have a cheerful heart
It may sound like a cliché, but having a bad attitude can have a negative impact on your health. As a caregiver, there are some aspects of your life that have changed; there are some tasks which are unpleasant. The key is to find ways to remain positive and appreciate what you do have and the things that are still possible.
- Find others to talk to
Sometimes it helps to have a sympathetic ear. Whether it’s a family member or support group, often it’s just nice to have someone who understands.
Don’t underestimate the importance of respite care. If feasible, talk with your loved one about your need for respite care. Help them to understand that the time to yourself that you get from respite care will help you to rejuvenate and will benefit you both. When arranging respite care, you may want to involve your loved one in the planning. This could help them accept the importance of respite care. Remember, respite care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.