Signs of Caregiver Stress & Ways to Reduce It

May 15, 2022 | Caregiving

As a family caregiver, there are good days and endless rewarding moments. However, there are also stressful days. Over time, allowing stress to build up can have adverse effects on your health, which will impact the quality of care you provide.

At Astral at Franklin, we support our team members by empowering them to engage in self-care whenever possible. We understand that caring for seniors begins with caring for ourselves.

Below, we examine some of the most common signs of caregiver stress and provide helpful tips to reduce or eliminate the stress in your life.

Potential Signs of Caregiver Stress

According to Mayo Clinic, there are several indicators of caregiver stress that, when left unaddressed, can lead to significant physical and mental health issues. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed or constantly worried
  • Feeling tired often
  • Getting too much sleep or not enough sleep
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Becoming easily irritated or angry
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feeling sad
  • Having frequent headaches, body aches or other physical problems
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs, including prescription medications

It is so important to address these stress symptoms – for your well-being and the good of your family member.

Tips for Relieving Caregiver Stress

When you are experiencing stress, it can feel as though you are doing it all on your own. Fortunately, you can employ strategies to make your life less stressful and more joyful.

Here are some ways that you can reduce the stress in your life.

Reduce Stress with Exercise

One of the best ways to reduce stress is through exercise. However, it can be challenging to find the time or energy to stick to a routine when you are busy (and possibly overwhelmed) by your responsibilities as a caregiver. Remember that great care begins with you, so make an appointment on your calendar to exercise. Doing this will give that time just as much weight and importance as your other responsibilities.

The best part about exercise is you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to start feeling the results. With just 15 minutes of exercise each day, you can gain the essential benefits and feel happier and healthier. These activities can be done quickly and effectively:

  • Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood or a local park
  • Participate in yoga exercises
  • Swim laps in your local pool
  • Ride a bicycle
  • Engage in light stretching and breathing exercises

Make Time for Relaxation

One of the most common challenges for caregivers is finding time for themselves. You may have to be (or feel like you have to be) available for your family member around the clock, allowing little time for your own relaxation and enjoyment.

To counteract this caregiver stress, take regular breaks that focus on disconnecting. This relief can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an entire day, but it is just as important for your family member as it is for you. If you are stressed and overwhelmed, you will not be able to provide great care for the person who needs it.

Our team at Astral at Franklin knows that making time for yourself is an important way for the body to heal itself under stress. Here are some simple activities you can do to promote relaxation:

  • Engage in 15 minutes of deep breathing and meditation
  • Sink into a warm bubble bath and allow the water to calm you
  • Read a good book that you have been putting off for weeks or months
  • Turn out the lights, draw the curtains closed and take a nap

Turn to the Arts

When you are feeling caregiver stress, another great way to relax is to engage in the arts.  Doing so allows you to free your mind from worry, focus on the present moment and make something that brings you joy. 

Just the act of creating art can reduce stress and bring peace to your daily life. Whether you are practicing a piece of music, painting, or writing a poem there are many ways to use art to relax and recover.

Astral at Franklin provides essential support and care to older adults in Franklin, Indiana. We take pride in creating a warm, inviting atmosphere that promotes independence and dignity. Our community offers families peace of mind and relief from the day-to-day caregiving, so they can focus on being spouses, daughters/sons, grandchildren, etc.

We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about our senior living community in Franklin, Indiana, offering independent living, assisted living and memory care.

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