Throughout the caregiving community, there exists a powerful truth: caregivers are living with higher levels of stress than ever before. According to a recent study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, roughly 4 in 10 caregivers rate their stress level in the highest percentile.
Although deeply rewarding, caregiving can be incredibly hard work. The hours can be long and the tasks can feel insurmountable. These regular stressors of providing care for a loved one are compounded by the added pressure of caregiving during a pandemic.
It’s no wonder that this high pressure is having an adverse effect on caregivers. According to a 2020 study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, nearly 23% of Americans say that caregiving has had an adverse impact on their health and wellness.
With this in mind, it’s important for caregivers to take the time to manage their stressors. If you are providing care for someone, here are a few tips and tricks for managing stress according to our friends at Expicare Nursing.
- Practice mindfulness.
To mitigate stress, it helps to adopt a mindfulness practice. This does not need to be complex, it could be as simple as a daily walk through the park, a journal entry, or even ten minutes of silence. The goal is to craft a space and time for you to check in with yourself. In the hecticness of day to day life, mindfulness can create an oasis of peace for you to recharge and refuel.
- Manage expectations with your loved one.
When daily tasks become too arduous and stressful, it can often be because expectations are overshooting past reality. Check in with your loved one and facilitate boundaries. Gently let them know what pivotal tasks you can manage, and which ancillary tasks you will need support on. For example, you can tell them that you will help with medication management and daily living activities, but you cannot also provide rides to bible study every day.
- Be willing to accept help.
Although caregivers do superheroic deeds, they are not invincible. Sometimes you need to ask for help! Pull resources from your community. A home health care agency can get you set up with a qualified home health aide. A local church can provide ridesharing to and from your loved one’s home. A local caregiver support group can provide emotional and mental check-ins for you.
If you are a caregiver in need of help, contact a home health aide today!