There are levels of stress that you experience as a caregiver and while you might be familiar with your normal zone of stress, there are those times you’ll be suddenly under even more stress. What can you do?
What Step Can You Take Right Now?
The very first thing you need to do the moment you realize you’re experiencing more stress than usual is to figure out what step you can take right this second. No matter where you are or what’s going on, there’s something you can do right then to get some relief. The answer might be that you close your eyes and take several deep breaths. If you can do something more, like leaving the situation that is spiking your stress, then do that.
Think Back to Who Most Recently Offered Help
Caregivers often have a difficult time asking for help and even accepting it when it’s offered. Sometimes it feels as if it’s easier to just handle things on your own rather than explain what needs to be done. While that’s understandable, it locks you into a situation where you’re not getting the help you need. Think back to who most recently offered to help you with something. If it’s recent enough, take them up on that offer and turn over that task completely.
Let Someone Know You’re Struggling
Another step you can take is to reach out to someone who knows what you’re going through as a caregiver. That might be a friend, a family member, or even another caregiver. What’s important isn’t necessarily the help that person might be able to offer you, although it’s wise to take them up on whatever they can do. What’s most important is that you have someone you can vent to when you’re feeling stressed and upset.
Develop a Plan for the Future
When you start to feel as if you’ve got a handle on what’s going on right now, it’s time to help future you. You need a plan for the near future so that you can hopefully alleviate as much of the potential for this type of stress as you can. Look at how you’re taking care of yourself now, especially in terms of your eating and sleeping habits, and see what you can do differently and better. Put those plans into place now.
Being a caregiver means that you need to be ready for the challenges that you face in terms of your senior’s needs, but it also means being ready for your own needs and challenges. Take care of yourself so that you can continue to take care of others.