The Affects of Caregiving on Mental Health
Universally, large amounts of people offer costless help to family members who suffer from disabilities and illnesses that require around the clock support. While this is a self- sacrificing and caring role to be in, many of the psychological affects that occur with this demanding responsibility go unrecognized and untreated.
Family caregivers may suffer from heightened levels of stress, depression, anxiety and frustration. These type of emotions are not only draining and overwhelming for caregivers, they also impact and possibly decline the care receiver’s existing health condition.
Due to this, it’s essential that caregivers prioritize and give attention to their mental well-being, gain a sense of life fulfillment and take care of their physical health.
Here are a few quick tips that will help you reduce caregiver stress:
- Set aside an hour each day to do something that you enjoy. This time can be used to meditate, write, engage in your favorite hobby, or catch up on your favorite show.
- Find ways to routinely cater to yourself: book yourself a bi-monthly massage, or treat yourself to a new item that you may be wanting. Spoil yourself with care. This will help boost your emotional state and relieve stress.
- Establish a social life. Isolation is not an uncommon occurrence for those who take on such a taxing role like caregiving. Make time to chat with friends, go out to a play or even on a date. You deserve the time away from home.
- Be willing to share some of your responsibilities with those who offer assistance. Dividing responsibilities will prevent you from taking on too many tasks at once.
- Avoid having a one-track mind. A healthy and happy life does cannot revolve around caregiving. It’s important that other areas of your life are gratifying, to ease the mental burden of an already strenuous situation.
- Find a source of continual support, and talk about your feelings regarding your situation. This can be with a friend, family or mental health professional. Doing so will help you realize that although you can’t change or control your family member’s condition, you can cope with it in ways that are healthy and constructive.
Remember, in order to successfully offer care to others, you must prioritize care for yourself!