Taking care of seniors can be overwhelming and stressful. Managing caregiving stress is important for one’s health. The consequences of not handling caregiving stress can lead to physical, mental, and emotional pressure, affecting the ability to give quality care to seniors. Caregivers juggle work with family and children, and this stress can lead to caregiver burnout. Hence managing stress is very important.
It might be a little hard to focus on yourself while talking about seniors, but it’s important to at least focus on the basic needs. Getting enough amount of sleep and having nutritious meals. Caregiving is a full-time responsibility, and managing your stress is important for yourself as well as for the job you are doing. Even though caregiving is highly rewarding, it can be a stressful, demanding and exhausting job. Numerous emotions can cloud your mind, like anger, frustration and stress, which can cover your mind and make you emotionally drained.
Before we move on to how to manage stress, we must know the triggering stress symptoms:
- Health issues
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Bad eating habits
Everyone handles stress differently, some experience severe burnout sooner than others. Being aware and paying attention to your well-being is crucial. All these can lead to caregiving stress, but it’s not that difficult to manage caregiving stress by focusing on yourself, and practising some self-care can surely help.
How to Cope with Caregiving Stress?
1. Give yourself time
Occasionally you can take a break from your caregiving duties. You can get sleep or enjoy something you like. Meet your friends for a coffee break, get refreshed, and return to work. Even if it’s for a short period, it can help you cool off.
Meditation can have a calming effect on your mind. It’s extremely helpful, and it’s proven to help in reducing stress. Studies show that meditation can help reduce stress, lowers blood pressure, and improve immune functions.
3. Exercise and Yoga
Practice yoga or any exercise that you may enjoy. Even if you can’t spend time in the gym, go for a short walk or a run. Stretching and yoga can help you relax and improve your physical and mental fitness. Staying active yourself is an important part of managing stress. This can also help you clear your thoughts and help you focus on your emotions.
Communication is as important as doing any physical activity. Socialising can help you connect with your loved ones; it can help you feel relaxed and share your thoughts. The biggest risk factors for stress, anxiety, and depression can be losing touch with your friends and family and isolating yourself. Talking with your friends and family and getting support can help you reduce stress.
5. Getting Enough sleep
Almost all adults don’t focus on getting enough which often leads to health problems and stress. When you don’t get adequate sleep, it can make you feel frustrated and affect your overall body. You need energy and relaxation, and sleep can help you in this. This should be your top priority; getting enough sleep will improve your health and stress and help you focus on your work.
Not staying organised can make you feel like you are losing control over yourself. Try getting into a routine that helps you stay organised and allows you to keep everything in balance. This will help in your day-to-day responsibilities and make you feel less overwhelmed. This approach can also help in emergencies and ensure you are well prepared for them.
7. Set up boundaries
Practice saying no to requests that can be stressful and overwhelming for you. Your mind and body are also important. Setting up boundaries can help you create a balance. Try saying no to insensitive and unnecessary demands.
8. Seeking help from a counsellor
Counselling sessions can help with your mental health a lot. You must know how to manage your mental health. Counsellors can guide you as well as help in these situations. Sometimes caregivers cannot help themselves, and specialised counselling sessions are there where they can speak up about their problem, understand the cause of stress, and manage stress.
It is important to accept if something is wrong with you. If you deny that nothing is wrong with you, it will cause more stress. Acceptance is the first step before handling the pressure. Learn to accept that you cannot control everything around you, and some simple mistakes are bound to happen. Don’t overthink things you can’t change; be comfortable and empathetic instead.
10. Joining a support group
Many support groups are available that help caregivers and their stress. If your schedule is busy, you can use an online support group where talk out your problems. If your loved one has a particular disease, you can look for support groups with diseases. You can talk with them, understand, and get to help your loved one better. This can also help you reduce a little stress and be less overwhelmed knowing how you can help.
Stress is a part of our life, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be handled. If you are a caregiver, there might be a chance that you are stressed out. It may be rewarding but very overwhelming. Caregiving can be difficult and can feel like a burden when giving full-time caregiving.
What is stress?
Stress is like an emotional feeling and physical tension. Some may be better for you to focus on things, while others can severely affect you.
Is it normal for caregivers having stress issues?
It is very common for caregivers to deal with stress, as caregiving can be difficult and overwhelming.
What are some caregiving stress symptoms?
Caregiving stress symptoms can include:
- Not being able to focus
- Losing control
What happens when caregivers stress a lot?
It will affect your physical and mental health, which can later affect your job. Stressing can make you lose control and fall into the trap of depression.
How can you manage your stress?
With some simple steps, you can manage your stress:
- Practising self-care
- Staying active
- Taking short breaks
- Building a routine
- Be in a support group
How to relieve stress quickly?
Sometimes being on a tight schedule can make you feel like you can make time for yourself, resulting in more stress. To relieve stress quickly, you can try breathing exercises, stretching out a little bit, talking to your trusted friend, going for a short walk, and listening to music.
What can stress do to your brain?
Normal stress is okay for your brain, but overwhelming stress can affect your brain severely. Stress can kill your brain cells; you can be more prone to mental illness.
How can art help in stress management?
Art is a stress reliever and can reduce depression. Enjoying something that you like can help you reduce stress, and it can help you focus better and help you understand your emotions better.
How can you treat caregiving stress?
Asking for help when it’s too overwhelming and straining for you. Taking in between breaks can help you.
What are some stress management techniques other than breathing exercises?
Other than breathing exercises, you can treat stress by connecting with other people, taking a day off work, and enjoying going to a movie. It will help you regain energy and help you relax as well.