Coping with stress is not easy. Some people have a tendency to push things aside, forget about them, or try to ignore them. They seem strong on the outside but internally they are breaking down piece by piece. For the average family caregiver in the United States (approximately 44 million, according to Forbes), stress is a major part of the job they have taken on.
Many of these family caregivers simply didn’t think it was going to be stressful.
They knew it was going to require time, energy, and possibly even some sacrifice, but not many truly understood how stressful this was going to be. For many of these experienced family caregivers, they learned valuable lessons as they provide this level of support. Some of those lessons involve how to deal with stress. Here are three potential things many other family caregivers have learned that you or somebody you know might benefit by understanding.
First, it’s absolutely crucial to eat healthy.
The body needs nutrition. If it is not getting that adequate nutrition it needs, it’s going to create a number of problems. It could lead to fatigue, feeling run down, getting sick more frequently, and even having trouble sleeping at night. Unfortunately, many of these same caregivers run out of time and eventually start grabbing fast food more frequently, which offers not just hardly any nutritional value, but is actually bad for you on a regular basis.
Second, exercise is still necessary.
Just because you may be running around chasing your tail trying to get a million things done during the day that doesn’t mean you’re actually getting quality exercise. Quality exercise is defined by the medical community as at least (at a minimum) 15 minutes of solid, cardiovascular exercise. Translated, that means your heart rate should be elevated to at least 120 bpm for a minimum of 15 minutes every single day.
Third, you need to have time for yourself.
If you don’t have time for yourself, you will feel more stress, pressure, and anxiety. It’s just a natural repercussion of trying to do too many things throughout the day.
So, how can the average family caregiver be able to do these necessary things when a parent, spouse, or somebody else relies on them?
That’s the key question and the simple answer is to rely on a home care agency for support. Through an agency, home care aides can be hired for brief amounts of time, such as a couple of hours once or twice a week to start. That can help people realize these are truly beneficial services that will give those family caregivers time they need to take better care of themselves and, ultimately, reduce stress in their life.
Angel Alliance Caregivers of Galloway, NJ is dedicated to helping seniors maintain full, independent lives where they most desire to live: in the comfort of their own homes. Call us at (609) 965-0028.