Caring for a family member or a loved one can be both extremely rewarding and emotionally taxing. You need to know the signs of caregiver fatigue and how to proactively prevent stress and potential emotional harm. In order to prevent caregiver stress (the emotional and physical strain of caregiving) you need to know the signs and take measurable steps to prevent it from impacting your health and well-being.
What Are the Signs of Caregiver Stress?
Generally, the signs of caregiver stress (or fatigue) include the following:
- Uncontrollable frustration or anger
- Physical and/or emotional exhaustion
Any and all of the feelings above can dramatically affect your health and cause unhealthy changes in your diet, mood, stress level, and ability to sleep. If you are a caregiver experiencing any of these symptoms, it is critical that you seek medical care and take time for yourself immediately.
5 Ways to Reduce Caregiver Stress
You can reduce or prevent stress by taking the appropriate time to learn about your parent or loved one’s needs before becoming the caregiver. This can include:
- Researching the illness
- Understanding the financial aspect of the situation
- Talking with others
- Being OK to say ‘no’
- Making time for your needs.
In addition to the list above creating a routine is essential. With a routine, you will easily notice any sudden changes in your behavior or stress level (caused by a deviation from your routine). Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Not asking for help when you need assistance will increase your stress level.
Caregiver stress or fatigue is real and can affect you at any point. It can impact men and women differently so be proactive and monitor your stress level. About 75% of caregivers who report feeling very strained emotionally, physically, or financially are women. Research shows that people who take an active, problem-solving approach to caregiving issues are more likely to feel less stressed. Follow the tips in this post and be proactive about your stress. Taking the time to take care of yourself mentally and emotionally will help you to be the best caregiver you can be.
Another way to help ease caregiver stress is with the free Caring Village caregiving organizer app. Learn more here.