From Exhaustion to Empowerment: Conquering Caregiver Stress

Written by: Line Fleming, M.A.
From Exhaustion to Empowerment: Conquering Caregiver Stress

Are you a caregiver? What is a caregiver?

We hear a lot about someone going through a medical or mental health issue. We hear about their symptoms, how they are affecting the person, and the treatments they are implementing to improve their health. What about the caregiver helping with a recovery from the medical condition or mental health issue? The caregiver is the person experiencing the issues with you and providing care needs. The caregiver role can be short-term or life-long depending on the situation.

Caregiver stress is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion caregivers experience. As a caregiver, you can become so focused about providing care to your loved one, you forget about yourself. Your physical health and well-being can be put in jeopardy. It is important to be aware of how you are feeling physically and emotionally. It is also important to hear others if they recognize that your health is suffering.

Signs of caregiver stress:

  • Feeling overwhelmed and worried
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Isolating from others
  • Neglecting daily activities
  • Becoming easily irritated
  • Feeling sad

Ways to cope with caregiver stress:

  • Focus on what you can provide. Delegate some tasks to others.
  • Establish a daily routine. Make a list of what needs to be done.
  • Be intentional about self-care. Do one thing daily that will rejuvenate your energies.
  • Take a break! It is OK to accept help and take a “TIME OUT” from your caregiver duties.

Caring for a loved one who needs you is rewarding and stressful. As your role as caregiver evolves, it is natural to experience a mix of emotions and stressors. It is important to recognize them and be proactive with helping yourself. A healthy and happy caregiver is better for you and your loved one!