38 % of Caregivers
Of caregivers report a “highly stressful” caregiving situation.
20-27% of Caregivers
Caregivers reporting fair or poor health increases from 14-15% in the first year to 20-27% after 5 years.
16-41% of Caregivers
Of caregivers report worsened health due to caregiving.
40-70% of Caregivers
Of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and out of control when dealing with another person’s fluctuating health. The stress you feel as a caregiver can be found in many different forms and can have long term effects on your overall health. Recognizing early warning signs will help you manage and overcome caregiver stress before it becomes too much.
It is important to take the necessary steps to ensure you maintain a healthy and well balanced life as a caregiver.
1. Stay in the moment
Rather than thinking of all the tasks and challenges you must tackle throughout the day, focus on the current task at hand. Being in the present and focusing on current tasks allows you to easily break down the overwhelming number of tasks you have in a day into “bite-sized” easily manageable tasks. Thinking in this mindset will help keep you motivated and moving in the right direction. It will also aid in preventing negative feelings from creeping up.
2. Eat Right
Skipping meals is common amongst caregivers. However, proper eating habits are vital for caregivers to get the fuel they need to function. A muffin and coffee in the morning will likely not get you through lunchtime. Instead, try eating oatmeal with fresh fruit. This option offers convenience and nutritional value that will keep you going.
Easy Comforts to help you get the nutritional and easy breakfast you deserve. Cook up to four hard or soft boiled eggs in minutes with a microwave egg boiler. You could also try out the microwave egg muffin cooker.
Pro tip: when cooking an egg muffin, use a whole grain bread such as an english muffin to help fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Microwave Egg Boiler
Perfectly boiled eggs from the microwave in minutes, without the worry of exploding shells.
Microwave Egg Muffin Cooker
Prepare breakfast sandwiches easily and inexpensively in the microwave.
3. Get the right amount of sleep
Scientific research reminds us that seven to nine hours of sleep per night is best. Establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it will help keep your body and mind in check. While you sleep, your body is hard at work getting you ready for tomorrow by doing things like growing and repairing tissue, restoring energy lost, and relaxing overtired muscles. The quality and amount of sleep you get each night affects almost every aspect of what you experience while awake.
However, as a caregiver, it is normal to experience your mind racing with a million worries about the care of their loved ones. Just as children need bedtime stories and lullabies, many adults need routines before sleep. Playing video games and watching TV tend to be too stimulating before bed, and alcohol may put you to sleep but won’t allow your body to repair from that day’s activities. Instead, try starting a journal and writing down all of your worries and thoughts each night, gently stretch before getting into bed, or read a book.
Easy Comforts offers a variety of products to incorporate into your sleep routine that help promote sleep and relaxation. Experience the calming scents of lavender and other essential oils in one of the aromatherapy diffusers, or try giving yourself a relaxing foot massage with a vibrating foot massager. Easy Comforts also offers products such as Native Remedies Hemp + Sleep tablets which are a healthy and natural way to promote relaxation and sleep.
Healthful Naturals Premium Essential Oil Kit
Made from various plants and botanicals, each bottle contains its own holistic health benefits that can be used alone or blended with others.
Lighted Essential Oil Diffuser & Humidifier, 600 ml
Whether your goal is personal health and well-being or creating a fragrant, spa-like atmosphere, this versatile electric diffuser beautifully does both.
Vibrating Foot Massager
As you glide your feet across its six massaging rollers, it stimulates pressure points on your soles to soothe fatigue and help promote circulation in feet and legs.
Native Remedies Hemp + Sleep
Combines hemp and melatonin for an effective, all natural formula to aid with sleep.
As a caregiver, finding the time or will to exercise can be daunting. You don’t want to spend any of your hard-earned free time working up a sweat and feeling a whole new kind of tired on top of everything else. However, exercising can actually have the adverse effect on how tired you are. Regular exercise promotes better sleep, reduces tension and depression, and increases energy and alertness.
If finding time for exercise is a struggle for you, try incorporating it into your daily activities. Take your loved one for a walk outside. The fresh air and exercise will be very beneficial for their health as well. Finish off the walk with a stretching exercise for the both of you.
For individuals who are able to find some free time for exercise, find activities you enjoy to make it something you look forward to rather than another task. The activities you choose to do could be things such as jogging, gardening, walking the mall, biking, swimming, or really anything that gets you moving for at least 20 minutes a day.
5. Accepting and asking for help
Help can come from many different resources including family, friends, community, and professionals. Be prepared with a mental list of ways that others can help you. For example, your friend could pick up a few things for you on their weekly trip to the grocery store. A relative could fill out some insurance papers. Your physician can suggest ways to help the individual you are caring for sleep through the entirety of the night allowing you a more restful night’s sleep.
More often than not, friends and family want to help, you just have to speak up and let them know how. It’s important that you don’t wait until you are overwhelmed and exhausted to ask for or accept help. When you accept help, it will give you time to relax and clear your head which can ultimately lead to you better understanding you and your care recipient’s needs.
Remember: Reaching out or accepting help when you need it is a sign of personal strength.
2 thoughts on “Tackling Caregiver Stress Before it Becomes too Much”
I found this very comforting…