Managing Caregiver Stress

Image of Daughter with Ambulatory Mother

Take Good Care of Yourself

As a woman, you will likely take on a caregiving role at some point throughout your life. Whether this happens after the birth of a child, or while caring for your own aging parents, being a caregiver can add a significant amount of stress to your daily life. However, in order for you to care for others, you have to take good care of yourself.

Recognize stress

Learn to recognize your stress and find out what triggers it. To do this, try to be aware of how you feel each day. If you notice your heart racing or your muscles tightening, your body may be responding to stress. Ask yourself why–then write down your answer. To keep the process going, make a list of all the things that trigger stressful feelings.

Share your concerns

Talk about your stressful situations with someone you trust. Sometimes just talking about your problems and concerns can help you put them into perspective. It can also give you insights into ways to deal with them.

Take a Break

All of the things you do are not equally important, so set priorities and build in “me time” to your day. Look after your health, go for a walk, or take a long bath when you have free moments. Lift your spirits by having lunch with a friend, taking a nap, or simply do nothing and just relax.

Ask for and accept help

As a caregiver it is important to ask for and accept help when it’s offered. Know when you’ve reached your limit and need to step away. Having others who you can rely on can be a relief. Be willing to ask for help when you need it and before frustration and exhaustion set in.

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