Taking care of a terminally ill loved one can be hugely rewarding, but it goes without saying that the role often comes with a great deal of stress. Though it will often be your highest priority, it’s vitally important that you consider your own wellbeing and take positive steps towards managing your stress levels. After all, you can only give the best care when you’re in peak condition and effectively addressing your own state of mind. Here, we take a look at how to minimize caregiver stress.
Grow your support network
Taking care of a terminally ill loved one can sometimes feel like a very isolated role, though there are thousands of people out there in the very same position. Your GP will be able to point you in the direction of support groups in your local area, and increasingly, there’s a real opportunity to network with other carers online. Look out for discussion forums where you can join in the conversation and talk through your latest challenges. Whatever emotions and difficulties you might be facing, you can be sure that others will have experienced similar issues.
Take time out for yourself
It’s easy to let your role take over your whole life and result in neglecting your own hobbies, though it’s in the best interests of everyone involved to schedule in some time each week when you get away from the day-to-day tasks and pursue your own interests. Whether it’s a walk in your local park or a visit to an interest group in your area, it can be just what you need to relax and rejuvenate. Of course, you’ll also return to your role feeling more focused and on the ball. Most community centres will have a noticeboard detailing the classes and sessions that they offer
Keep a diary detailing your stress levels
By keeping a record of how you feel on a daily basis, it’s possible to identify your main triggers and help you to get any appropriate support that you might need. For example, you might notice over a period of time that your stress levels rocket when you work certain hours, or that you feel much better when you take regular breaks away from the care environment. By recognizing these trends, you can alter your routine so you’re making the most of the time you have and minimizing your stress levels along the way By taking a little time to action these key areas, caregiving can become a much less stressful role. Remember that stress is a natural response to difficult situations, but being mindful of the impact on your overall wellbeing can be extremely useful when it comes to managing your daily tasks.
The Care Shop Team www.careshop.co.uk -part of the Bunzl group, leading suppliers of medical products for care homes and hospitals.