Being a caregiver might automatically mean that you’re going to be dealing with stress, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be a martyr about it. You have got to really examine what causes stress for you, how your body and your brain react to stress, and whether there are solutions you’re overlooking. All of this helps you to put together a plan that enables you to get your stress in check.
Be Aware of Your Red Flags
No one has the exact same red flags about stress. Some people get really angry when they’re stressed or they at least find that their tempers are shorter. Other people get sad or sleepy. Whatever your personal stress red flags are, you need to be able to recognize them. The better you get about recognizing those red flags the earlier you’ll be able to spot them when they start waving.
Start Tracking Your Stress Levels
How often are you stressed? Do you really know? The average family caregiver spends a lot more time in the extremely stressed out range than they realize. The problem is that becomes your normal. So when you get even more stressed than that, you’re actually in the breakdown range. Start tracking your stress and learn what helps and what doesn’t. Journaling is a great tool for this.
Ask What You Can Do Something About
Is there anything at all that you have control over? If there isn’t, you have no choice but to manage the stress itself and not the situation. That’s a difficult distinction for most people because they instinctively want to fix every situation. You’re not going to be able to do that. What you can do is manage yourself and your reactions. If you can actually do something about the situation, that’s a different story completely and you have more work to do.
Do Something When You Can
Identify the action you can take that corrects whatever situation is causing you stress and then put it in motion as soon as humanly possible. There’s no point at all in waiting around if you really can fix or correct something. If you are sitting on your hands when you could take action, you’re contributing to your own stress levels. Hiring a professional caregiver to assist your senior parent can offer you the opportunity to gain some respite time and reduce your stress.
It’s not easy to approach your stress levels, particularly your extreme stressors, in a different way. It’s going to take some time and some experimentation, but you can do it.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Portland, ME, please contact the caring staff at CareTree Healthcare today. Call today! 207-899-0774.