While being a caregiver can be rewarding, it’s also very stressful. Having someone rely on you can take a toll on your mental and physical health. You can’t care for someone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. So here are five tips to help you manage your stress and be the best caregiver possible.
Don’t forget to take care of your own health while caring for someone else. Think about the advice you’d give to your elder. Eat a well balanced diet. Stay active. Get enough sleep. The same rules apply to you.
Focus on What You Can Control.
You can’t make someone do something they don’t want to do. You’ll never cure a disease, or prevent someone from aging. Instead of being upset over what you can’t control, focus on the impact you can make. Set realistic goals. Trying to do everything is only setting yourself up for failure.
Don’t Take Things Personally.
Diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s can cause extreme irritability. Some medications can also cause unexplained anger. If your elder is getting angry with you, try not to take it personally. Understand that it’s very stressful for elders to deal with issues that are out of their control.
Laugh It Off.
You’re going to find yourself in embarrassing and uncomfortable situations from time to time. Laugh it off. Seriously. You’ll feel so much better about the situation…and so will your elder.
Ask for Help.
There’s no shame in asking for help. Don’t be scared to ask your sibling or other family members for help. There are many support groups you can join as well that will give you tips on caring for an elder.
Just remember, if you’re not at your best mentally and physically, you can’t help someone else to be at their best.