Stress is a normal and necessary part of life—to a certain degree. It can motivate us to make changes. We see a lion and decide to run, probably not a good idea, or hold our ground and yell and scream. The problem with stress is that the lions have been replaced by daily demands and screaming or yelling at the piled up clothes or dirty floors or clock that just keeps on ticking probably isn’t going to do a lot of good.
Stress as a Caregiver
You probably didn’t realize all the daily gifts you would receive when you took on the role of a family caregiver—the better relationship with your parent that has led to a deeper understanding or the daily joys that you share. You also may not have realized the level of stress that can accompany this role. As your parent’s physical or mental state declines, you find that they need additional support such as transportation and help getting around the home. They may ultimately experience incontinence or mobility issues. You find a whole day has slipped by without experiencing quality time together.
Signs to be Aware of
There are signs, signals that warn you it’s time to make some changes in your life. These include: increasing irritability, insomnia, changes in eating or drinking habits, trouble concentrating, health issues, fatigue, social withdrawal,and an increasing feeling of hopelessness.
Tips to Manage Stress
Fortunately, there are millions of people that have been just where you are now. Here are some of the techniques that they have used to head off stress at the pass.
- Exercise. It may not be good for you to run from a lion, but it is definitely good for you to run from stress and toward health. Aerobic activity increases those feel-good neurotransmitters that the world has come to know and love: serotonin and dopamine.
- Relax. Easier said than done, right? Well, those dirty floors are just going to have to wait. And guess what? They’ll be there tomorrow. Today, make sure that you take some time to relax. Listen to a guided relaxation recording with your parent—several can be found on YouTube. Take a relaxing stroll through a botanical garden. Take a break from the daily chores to sip coffee at the local neighborhood bookstore (that could certainly use your business).Include your parent when you can and create lasting memories that both of you will cherish.
- Find time for yourself. A balanced life includes alone time. It allows one the opportunity to hear the whispers in the quiet recesses of their hearts, the still small voice within. As Rumi so eloquently puts it, “The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.” Consider hiring a home care provider a few days a week in order to give yourself the time you need to recharge, refresh and remain a positive force in the life of your parent.
If you or an aging parent are considering in-home caregivers in Goodyear, AZ, please call the caring staff at Assisting Hands Home Care. Serving North Phoenix, Glendale And Surrounding Areas. Call Us 602-362-6610.