Finding Emotional and Psychological Support
Being a family caregiver can cause a lot of mental distress. It is not only a demanding role in terms of how much time you must devote to it, it is psychologically and emotionally draining, as well. This is probably because many family caregivers are caring for a close family member, and it is never easy to see a family member live with ailing health. All of this stress can take a toll on you. Many times, people who assume the role of a caregiver do not remember to care for themselves. In this blog, we want to explain why prioritizing your mental and emotional health is key for overall personal health and for being a good caregiver.
Stress can negatively impact many aspects of your life. For example, it can negatively affect your sleep by causing anxiety. Losing sleep can in turn create more problems, like anxiety and depression, in turn creating more stress. It is an endless cycle. In time, stress can take a toll on your mental health, emotional health, and physical health. You might notice that you are feeling down more often, anxious, or even frustrated. These are all telltale signs of stress. The ironic thing is that you may be expending a lot of energy trying to be a good caregiver, but once the stress collapses in on your, you can no longer perform your best. This is why it is important to prioritize mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Some Tips to Prioritize Mental Health
Consider these examples to help you prioritize your mental health. Perhaps they will also spark new ideas.
Talk to a Mental Health Professional: This is by far one of the most important things you can do for yourself. If you have health insurance, see what mental health providers are on your plan. Licensed psychologists and counselors can provide you with valuable skills to help cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or whatever else you might be experience, like guilt, grief, and frustration. Additionally, it is good to talk about what is on your mind. Holding things inside of your or sharing with people who may not know how to help can sometimes make the problems worse. Mental health providers are valuable and unbiased third parties that can act as a great sounding board.
Sleep: Sleep is important. Period. As an adult, you should be getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every single night. Sleep plays a very important role in mental health as it can help lessen anxiety and depression. Additionally, getting more sleep gives you more energy throughout the day and you could use your energy efficiently since you are well-rested and more aware.
Find Help and Take a Break: One problem that often goes unsolved is relieving the family caregiver from their duties from time to time. You deserve some time off. If you can, find another family member to help out with some of the caregiving responsibilities. Or even better, find a professional caregiver through nurse registries like ElderCare at Home. Licensed and certified caregivers are trained to deal with situations you encounter daily as a family caregiver. You could create a schedule with a caregiver and plan some time off.
If you have any more questions, please call ElderCare at Home at 888-285-0093 or visit our website.