Caring for someone you love is a rewarding experience, but it can also be stressful. In addition to keeping up with multiple responsibilities throughout the day, you may also worry about the future or making a mistake. All of this stress could eventually add up to a major case of anxiety. When you find yourself ruminating on your worries, try using these six tips to get your caregiver anxiety under control.
1. Handle What You Can Control
As a caregiver, you may want to fix everything so your loved one enjoys the best possible quality of life. However, the truth is you can only do so much. Take a look at your daily routine and decide how much you can actually do. Then try delegating the extra work to another person, such as a home caregiver, so you don’t worry about what goes unfinished every day.
For family caregivers who are at risk of burnout, hiring a professional caregiver can provide a much-needed source of support. When you search for a professional caregiver, you’re looking for someone with experience in senior care who’s compassionate and trustworthy. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide elder care. Vancouver families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
2. Set a Designated Worrying Time
It would be nice if you never worried at all, but all caregivers have some anxiety about their roles. Setting aside a specific time to worry may help you stop obsessing over your anxieties throughout the day. Try allotting 15 minutes at some point during the day when you can journal about your concerns or share them with a friend. If a worry arises outside of this time, simply tell yourself you can set it aside for later. Eventually, you’ll notice worrisome thoughts pop up less frequently during your normal routine.
3. Seek Answers to Your Concerns
Some anxieties are based on fears about the future. For instance, you may worry about how you’ll continue to care for your loved one as his or her memory loss gets worse. Talk to your loved one’s physician about what to expect so you can plan for the future. Having a plan in place to get support from another caregiver allows you to start viewing the future in a better light.
4. Take Care of Your Physical Health
Anxiety worsens when you’re run down or in otherwise poor health. For example, a lack of sleep makes it more likely that you’ll experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heartbeat or fatigue. Daily exercise also burns off the stress hormones associated with anxiety. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and eat a nutritious diet.
Family caregivers don’t have to risk their own wellbeing to make sure their loved ones continue to receive high-quality care. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Vancouver, BC, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
5. Focus on the Present Moment
Trying to control anxious thoughts often feels futile. However, mindfulness is a strategy that may bring your thoughts to what is currently happening in your life. Try focusing on how clothing feels as you fold it or how each bite of your meal tastes. Paying conscious attention to each color, texture, and other sensations serves as a distraction that may retrain your mind to stay in the present.
6. Know When to Seek Professional Support
At times, anxiety requires the attention of a professional counselor or physician, which may be true if anxiety interferes with your ability to perform your daily routine comfortably. When severe anxiety is causing you to turn to unhealthy habits, it’s time to seek help. Respite care is an option that allows you time to go to the doctor to get the support you need to manage severe anxiety.
If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed by your caregiving responsibilities, remember you don’t have to manage everything all on your own. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Vancouver in-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call us at today.