Sometimes, the pressure of caring for someone who is elderly or who has a chronic illness can lead to stress and a condition called “caregiver burnout.” To prevent this, it’s essential to know how to manage your caregiver stress.
Tips for managing stress include:
- Keep a positive attitude. Believe in yourself.
- Accept that there are events you cannot control.
- Be assertive instead of aggressive. “Assert” your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.
- Learn to relax.
- Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when it is fit.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit yourself to moderate alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Set realistic goals and expectations.
- Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events.
- Don’t rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
- Learn to use stress management techniques and coping mechanisms, such as deep breathing or guided imagery.
The National Family Caregiver Support Program puts caregivers in touch with the services they need. For information, call Region VII Area Agnecy on Aging at 1-800-858-1637 Or contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116, www.eldercare.gov.