Being a caregiver often comes with many anxieties and challenges that one must navigate. Sometimes these outcomes can affect a caregiver’s mental health. Caregiving often results in chronic stress, which negatively impacts a caregiver’s physical and mental health. Moreover, nearly 33% of unpaid caregivers reported experiencing mental or behavioral health symptoms such as anxiety, depression, or substance use.
So, how do caregivers relieve this stress?
First, these are staggering statistics, to be sure. But the role of a caregiver is so critically important, personally rewarding and sorely needed that it is important to understand these challenges up front and take steps to help protect yourself and your mental health. By improving your own mental well-being, you can continue to provide the best support and care to the one you love.
One way to prepare yourself for these external stressors, relieve anxieties, and strengthen your resilience, is to improve your mental health. Building resilience ensures that you remain calm and assured in the face of uncertainty and can more easily combat the stress that comes with caregiving.
To accomplish this, caregivers must start by improving their well-being and create good mental health habits. Consider the following:
Caregiver Mental Health: 3 Ways to Strengthen Your Well-Being
- Start with caregiver self-care.
A great way to combat stressors as a caregiver, is through self-care. Whether it’s taking a walk, calling a friend, or prioritizing the activities that make you the happiest, there are many tips and ways to improve your self-care routine. And remember, to ensure that you can provide the best care for your loved one, you must first take care of yourself.
- Work through your stressors and feelings of anxiety.
Caregivers experience higher levels of stress than non-caregivers and commonly experience feelings of frustration, anger, and burnout. An important part to building resilience is working through these sources of stress and mitigating these anxieties. By processing these emotions rather than pushing them aside or ignoring them, caregivers can improve their mental resilience and create healthy coping habits, reducing the potential for caregiver fatigue.
- Seek support and surround yourself with community.
Although improving your mental health may feel like a personal journey, it’s important to surround yourself with people and support. In difficult situations or when navigating a new situation, creating a Caregiving Support Team can help reduce stress. It also provides a social outlet that can also improve mental well-being.
It’s important to remember, that as a caregiver you are never alone and it’s vital that you take care of yourself and look after your mental health. Contact us to learn more about how Careforth supports caregivers.
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