A caregiver is anyone who provides help to another person in need who can’t take care of themselves or need assistance to do everyday tasks.
Working in the nursing field needs full commitment and a good heart towards this job. Although education and training in this field has great importance but more is needed.
Despite the good will and the desire to help a person in distress some people can learn and have great experience with this but some can experience the opposite side of it, though sometimes it can be too much overwhelming.
“Caregiving is rewarding but stressful”
Considering the condition of the patient, shifting of situation, roles and emotions between the caregiver and the patient is quite stressful. The emotional and physical demands involved in caregiving can strain both parties and it can be harmful for the patient and the caregiver. As a caregiver you are the one handling most of the situation as the other side has less power to do so. Working in this field requires an incredible amount of patience and understanding though sometimes when things go out of hand and just fall apart you tend to feel stressed and be burnt out in the end. When this things happen how do you handle it? How do you deal with the stress in working as a caregiver?
Stress and burnout, depression and even aggression are well known phenomenon among caregivers, especially for those whose work around the clock. This does not mean that all caregivers are depressed, beating and tend to collapse under pressure. But, it does mean that they have higher risk of experiencing these symptoms.
Training, support and guidance during the Caregiver’s employment time significantly reduce the symptoms described above. Furthermore, they contribute to the caregiver’s motivation for his daily work and even improve the quality of service and care.
Other than that here are some tips on how to manage stress:
1. Accept help– Doing everything by yourself will just leave you exhausted so try to think of some ways that others can help you like seeking the support of family, friends and caregivers going through the same experiences and to know what exactly they can do to help.
2. Focus on what is important and what you are able to provide – Nobody is perfect and it is normal to feel guilty sometimes especially when you made bad decisions. Most important is you are doing your best you can and making the best decision at any given time.
3. Do some relaxation techniques – There are several relaxation techniques in which you can try to help relieve stress such as breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, picturing yourself in a peaceful and calm situation as what they called visualization and meditation even for 10-15 minutes just to let go of stressful thoughts.
4. Have a realistic goal – Big tasks can be organized from smaller steps so you can do it one at a time. Make lists, prioritize and establish a daily routine.
5. Set personal health goals – Get a good sleep routine. Fuel your body with healthy and nutritious food and plenty of water. Visiting your doctor and doing regular check-ups. Find time for some physical activities that you like to do in any form and it will help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Making sure that you stay healthy will help you be a better caregiver.
6. Making time for yourself – Working as a caregiver requires most of your time but make it sure to still find time for yourself and enjoyment like connecting with your friends, family and even other activities that you love to do.
7. Get connected and become an “Educated Caregiver” – Find caregiving resources and classes so you can acquire new caregiving skills necessary for the condition of your patient. By that it will be easier for you to handle and deal with his needs and manage yourself for not feeling stress