Lots of caregivers believe that the stress they experience as a part of caregiving is something that they only experience in that situation. But stress doesn’t care where you are or what you’re doing. If you ignore it, you’ll find the effects of stress following you even to your career and that can be bad for multiple reasons.
Stress Is Everywhere
Stress is a normal part of life. It’s literally everywhere and it takes the form of both “good” stress and “bad” stress. So-called good stress makes you alert to dangers and can keep you from making mistakes that could prove harmful to you. Bad stress is stress that takes a toll on you mentally and physically. It’s a result of being hypervigilant for too long.
Stress Doesn’t Stay in Categories
Something else to understand about stress is that it doesn’t stay boxed up neatly. Your stress as a caregiver will flow into the rest of your life, including your career and your other relationships, unless you take steps to manage it appropriately. Ignoring stress is not going to work. You have to actively do something about it.
Managing Your Stress Keeps it from Getting Out of Hand
When you notice that you’re experiencing greater amounts of stress than usual, that’s your sign to start doing something. Ideally, you’re already engaging in self-care, which can help you to be proactive about stress management. If you’re not making stress management a priority, it’s highly likely that you’re finding yourself to be easily overwhelmed in all areas of your life, not just caregiving.
What Can You Do?
The big question, of course, is what do you do? It’s slightly different for everyone, but you need to be taking breaks from caregiving. You also need to be ensuring that you’re taking the best care of yourself that you can. Eating well, sleeping enough, and moving more are the three pillars of the bare bones of a self-care plan. From there, figure out what helps you the most when you’re experiencing the bad form of stress. If that’s exercise, determine how you can get more exercise into your daily and weekly routine.
Your stress as a caregiver doesn’t have to significantly impact your career and the rest of your life. But it will if you’re trying to ignore it or otherwise neglecting the self-care that you need so much. This can be a painful lesson to learn, but it’s one that will serve you well throughout your caregiving journey.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.