/San Diego County

Four Action Steps You Can Take to Deal with Caregiver Stress

The stress that you experience as a caregiver is pretty potent stuff. It can really do a number on you and interfere with your sleep, your appetite, and your mental health. You can’t let it win.
Start Every Day Focusing on You
This might sound strange, but try starting every day with activities only for you. You might exercise, meditate, or just have a quiet first cup of coffee. The idea is that no matter what it is you’re doing as soon as you wake up, that activity focuses squarely on you. The reason behind this is so that you don’t end the day wondering where your time went and why you never got to doing something just for you.
Try Affirmations
Affirmations feel really silly when you first try them because they may not feel like they fit just yet. The reason they work, though, is because you’re going to repeat them and they’re phrased only in positive ways. This is a fantastic way to build up your confidence and your own belief in yourself. You might focus your affirmations on caregiving or only on you, it’s completely up to you.
Take Small Breaks
Little breaks throughout the day are something that people, especially caregivers, take for granted. You don’t have to keep pushing yourself all day long. Take the time that you need to ease yourself between different sets of tasks. You’ll find that your whole day slows down a bit and that you feel calmer as a result. Even closing your eyes for a minute and visualizing a happy, peaceful space can be a powerful break.
Take Big Breaks
Short breaks have their space, but you need larger breaks, too. Hire elder care providers to step in for you and use that time to get away for the afternoon or for the weekend. You need down time in order to keep pushing forward. If you’re not allowing yourself to take a mix of small breaks and larger ones, stress is eventually going to get the win.
You can’t just ignore stress and hope that it takes care of itself.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. What you can do is make plans and take action to help yourself to deal with the stress that you’re feeling. Even if what you try first doesn’t work right away, keep trying other options. You’ll find the combination that works for you.

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