Eleven Tips to Relieve Caregiver Stress

Here are some great tips to help relieve caregiver stress.

  1. Recognize the signs of caregiver stress: sleeping or eating problems, anxiety, headaches, depression, guilt, and muscle fatigue or tension are just a few.
  2. Ask for help from friends and family: some would–be helpers hesitate to offer because they don’t know your needs.
  3. Stay connected: it is important to maintain relationships with others and not just the loved one in your care.
  4. Keep a journal: talk or write about your feelings, whether they are good or bad. A regular record of events and emotions will help you recognize stress before it becomes a problem.
  5. Learn all you can about the illness: what can you expect and what new issues might arise.
  6. One thing at a time: break a challenge into smaller parts.
  7. Take time away: it may be difficult, but try to find time for yourself. Don’t completely isolate yourself in the caregiving role. Take time for your hobbies, they will help take your mind off the situation and responsibilities even if it is just for an hour or so a day.
  8. Talk to others: look for support groups. It often helps to speak to others who are in a similar situation and can share your frustrations, feelings and concerns.
  9. Celebrate your successes: allow yourself to feel good about your efforts. This is not a role that demands absolute perfection, take pride in what you are doing for someone else, it really is a big deal.
  10. Breathe: take a deep breath, gain perspective. You are giving the best part of yourself to help someone you love. One day you will be able to look back and know what you contributed.
  11. Humor: stay in touch with your sense of humor. Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.