The demands of caregiving can be incredibly stressful and can take a toll on your health, emotional wellbeing and personal and work relationships. Once this downward spiral begins and your health and relationships begin to deteriorate, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be an effective and nurturing (AKA cool, calm and collected) caregiver.
Here are some suggestions on how you can remain calm and collected even in the face of a challenging situation:
- The first and most important step is to recognize the magnitude of the work that you are doing and to speak up when and if you need assistance. Reaching out to friends, family members or a company that can assist you with some of your responsibilities shouldn’t be out of the question. Many caregivers try to “do it all” and in doing so experience severe and harmful burnout affecting their physical and mental health.
- Take care of yourself! Schedule time to take care of yourself whether that be engaging in a hobby, meeting friends for coffee, getting to the gym or any such activity or interest that provides you with pleasure. And yes the time must be “scheduled” because if you wait until you “find” the time it may never occur.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself (c’mon, you know you are!). You don’t have to do everything 100% or do everything immediately; there are aspects of caregiving that have just a little bit of “wiggle room” and 80% is just fine. Set realistic expectations!
- It can’t be said enough that inadequate rest and poor nutrition will make you more susceptible to stress and anxiety. Skimping on your own wellbeing will only serve to make a difficult situation even more difficult.
- Consider joining a support group. There are many such groups both in-person and online and with a little Internet research you’re certain to find a group that meets your requirements. Besides providing you with valuable information, support groups offer you a social outlet in which you can make new friends.
We know how difficult it may be so please let us know if we can assist you in any manner. We are here to support you in your efforts.