4 Ways to Relieve Caregiver Stress

Posted by Joe on 4/5/2015 to Caregiver Issues
Did you know that nearly a third of US adults are caregiving for one of their relatives? Of these, almost 67% are women, and many of them also have to care for their children as well.

The caregiving role can take a serious toll on our health; a recent poll found that 17% of caregivers in the US have seen their own physical health get worse in the last year.

There are very effective ways to ease the stress of caregiving. Have you tried any of the methods below?

#1 Find a Support Group

In many cases, you may just need a chance to share your feelings and experiences in a friendly and nonjudgmental environment. Consult with a local hospital or church to see if they have any support groups for caregivers. You also can go to your town's community center; they may have some sort of senior program that offers support for caregivers in need.

#2 Fight Appropriate Help Online

Nearly 30% of caregivers find online help, no matter if it is in discussion forums or in social media. We recommend that you find a group that is just for caregivers, not for the patients. It is important for your  own well being to be able to talk honestly about your own feelings and issues without worrying about hurting someone's feelings.

One place to try is Caring.com, which has many caregiver support groups for many health conditions, including Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

#3 Do a Journal

This is a good place for you to express how you are feeling; research also shows that this can help to decrease your stress level. Also, consider trying what we call a 'gratitude journal,' which is where you can write down everything that you feel grateful for.

#4 Find More Time For You

You need to remember to take time to take care for yourself. For example, when you take your loved one to an appointment, you could take a quick 20 minute walk to get yourself some exercise.

Also, set aside enough time to do things that provide nourishment for you and things that you enjoy. For example, just taking 10 minutes in the morning to drink your coffee can provide you with the energy boost you need.

Keep these ideas in mind so that you can reduce your stress level as a caregiver.

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