Five Ways to Take Care of Yourself When Taking Care of Your Parent

As you take care of your aging parent, don’t underestimate the toll it takes on you. Caregiver stress is a real and serious thing, but it’s often brushed aside to keep the focus on the patient. self-care

To be a great caregiver, you have to take care of yourself. Here are five ways to alleviate caregiver stress and maintain physical and emotional health.

Take advantage of your support group 

This isn’t the time to appear calm and collected. Be vulnerable, it’s okay. Just because your friends aren’t checking in, it doesn’t mean they don’t have your back. People get busy with their own lives, and if you look like you’re okay, they aren’t going to go digging under the surface. Let your friends and family know what’s going on regularly.

Find support online

There are plenty of websites and forums dedicated to caregivers. Whether it’s a group on Facebook or a website like Caring.com, you’ll quickly be reminded that plenty of people are going through the same thing.

Exercise 

Don’t let your own health decline when you’re caring for someone else. Not only is exercise crucial to maintaining physical health, but it’s also a natural stress reliever.

Steal some me time

No excuses, just do it. Whether it’s a day at the spa or half an hour of gardening, do it regularly and you’ll start to realize that you do, in fact, have time.

Here at Hannah’s Home  Care, we can help you care for your aging parent and make sure you get the time you need for yourself. Contact us for more information.

Suffering from Caregiver Stress?

Suffering from Caregiver Stress? Here are some ways to get Control Quickly

If you’ve been charged with caring for a loved one, you’re bound to experience stress at least occasionally. One of the best ways to manage caregiver stress involves getting control quickly so you can begin thinking more clearly again. Here are some tips you can use whenever you’re feeling stressed to regain control and ease your worries.

Identify your Reactions

Knowing how you respond to stress is important if you are to come up with a strategy for beating it. If you tend to get excited when nervous, you’ll need to focus on things that calm and quiet you, but if you withdraw or shut down, you’ll need to engage in things that stimulate you.caregiver-fatigue

Use your Senses

Now that you’ve determined how you react, think of how you can stimulate your senses during stressful situations. For example, you could use your sense of sight to look at a calming picture of the beach or an upbeat photograph of family members. You could play calm, relaxing music or loud, stimulating tunes, to help you overcome the blahs. Having the right scents available can be a great way to beat stress, as can using your sense of touch to hold a comforting object or pet an animal.

Exercise

The right type of exercise can be beneficial in beating stress, regardless of whether you become stimulated or shut down. Going for a walk can be a great way to unwind and relax, yet is also an effective way to stimulate your senses if you happen to feel withdrawn and listless. In fact, engaging in exercise on a regular basis is one of the best ways to manage stress, as it helps trigger endorphins in the brain that are responsible for good moods.

The right stress management is something everyone can benefit from, as there will always be difficult situations for caregivers to deal with. Have a plan in place for dealing with stress, and you’ll be much better prepared to deal with it when it does happen.

For more advice on dealing with caregiver stress, contact us.