Here are some simple tips for stress management:
Adjust Your Mindset
- Reframing the situation may help you manage stress.
- Remind yourself that you are doing something important for the person in your care.
- Know your limits.
- Do not give in when your care recipient is too demanding.
- Live one day at a time.
Manage Your Emotions
- Acknowledge your emotions and do not feel guilty about them. They are natural and very human.
- Express your anger and frustration by writing down your feelings.
- Allow yourself to cry.
Manage Your Tasks Better
- Set realistic goals – remember that you may not be able to do everything like before.
- Make a list of important tasks.
- Think of ways to make your work easier.
- Allow some things to be left until a better time.
- When handling a difficult task, make it easier by listening to music.
Take Care of Your Health
- Take short rests in-between activities or errands.
- Focus on getting relaxing sleep instead of more sleep.
- Set aside time for meditation, reflection or prayer.
- Eat a balanced diet, and find time for regular exercise.
Do Things You Enjoy
- Make time for yourself.
- Treat yourself to a massage or a facial.
- Keep in contact with friends and join in fun activities.
Do Not Shoulder Everything Alone
- Speak completely, openly and honestly to people who can understand and help you.
- Join a support group or start one to share ideas and resources.
- Use respite care services that can lighten your caregiving load. Look for a service that suits you from the AIC E-care locator.
- Talk to the doctor about your caregiving responsibilities, which are just as important as talking about your loved one’s needs.
Self-Care for Caregivers
All About Dementia – Ask the Experts : Episode 6
Source: Agency for Integrated Care
This video by the Agency for Integrated Care addresses questions such as: What are the signs of caregiver stress? I am not comfortable discussing my challenges with family and friends. Who else can I talk to? I need a break from caregiving but I feel guilty. What should I do?