To put it simply, stress is when a person is feeling the strain and pressure of something that has a negative effect on them.
And it’s paramount that it should be managed when delivering 24/7 care to someone.
We all experience stress at some point in our lives but taking care of an ailing parent is especially difficult and can drain energy from the happiest of people.
People that are not in a caring role cannot fully understand what we are experiencing and, in turn, we feel that we don’t want to burden others with our problems.
Other factors add to the mixture such as lack of finances, your social life dwindles or you may feel worthless.
While it is ok to talk to family members and friends one should consider seeking professional help.
There are many factors that are causing this but, this one is also a drainer; watching a loved one suffer.
If this is the case then (excuse the pun!); don’t stress! we’re here for you and have some suggestions to help you get back on top.
What Can I do?
Stress management can be something that first you can try yourself, as we all try to do in life.
You’ve already recognised the warning signs so we don’t need to go down that avenue, however, you’re searching for answers so we have some suggestions that may help.
Try and do something that you can change instantly such as keeping your daily diet healthy, and we all know how good fresh vegetables can be for us.
We can still eat what we want to but all we have to do is throw some fresh veggies into the mix and, by doing so, we lift our energies.
Get some exciting recipes off the internet and create something new.
Try to keep in touch with people on a regular basis because interaction & conversation is just as important as eating a good diet and both can be achieved at once.
Perhaps arrange a periodic light BBQ with some close friends or family and challenge your brain by creating interesting side dishes.
Creating new challenges lifts our endorphins which is what makes us happier.
You’ll be surprised how the conversation focusses on how you managed to create new and delicious side dishes.
This one may sound difficult at first but keeping aside some ‘you’ time is paramount as it helps you gather your thoughts.
By doing so, stress management begins to become easier as time passes. Let someone else take care of your loved one for a few hours and go and do something that you like to do.
Also, plan a walk & make it an easy task at first and build the distance up as you get used to it. The ideal pace is to increase your heart rate so that your body and mind feel challenged.
And by combining both eating more veggies and a brisk walk you may notice a positive change in yourself.
If you feel that you may need something a little more, then it is advisable to seek professional help.
The beauty of seeking professional help is that counsellers are objective with advise, and don’t forget to see your doctor so they can keep an eye on you.
Where can I go that is free?
Carers Australia is the national peak body that represents Australian carers. They are an advocate body that represents all carers for and carers to help influence policies and services at a national level.
For further information call Carer Support Services on 1800 242 636 or click on your state below;
We also recommend that you visit our Respite Care blog. This information points you in the right direction to get respite so you can remove your stress.