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National Stress Awareness Day: Dealing with stress when caring for someone…

02 November 2016 15:45

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Stress is deemed as a common part of fast-paced modern life. However, for those caring for a loved one the stress of everyday life can become overwhelming. If left ignored it can trigger debilitating illnesses and take over a person’s life.

As part of National Stress Awareness Day – Wednesday 2nd November – we’ve made an article all about how to identify serious stress, how to deal with the stress and where to go for additional support…

Stress is often considered to be a normal part of life – in some cases it may even be a motivator to get results and feel more energised.
But when the stress becomes overwhelming and it begins to have a physical and mental impact on your life, it becomes serious.
Stress can cause mental health problems and make existing problems worst. For example, stress can lead to anxiety or depression.
Also, stress can make dealing with current mental health problems even worse.
This leads to a vicious circle and make the stress unbearable to deal with.
It is even worse for those caring for someone as you put the other people’s needs before your own.
Caring for someone can be both mentally and physically draining – it affects all parts of your life, whether it’s at work or your relationships.
The symptoms of stress can be both mental and physical:
• Mental symptoms – anxiety, anger, depression, change in appetite, insomnia, tiredness, and difficulty focusing.
• Physical symptoms – breathlessness, cramps, chest pains, dizziness, headaches, nervous twitches, and restlessness.
Ultimately, stress and the symptoms associated with it can lead to serious health problems so it is important to take the steps to ensure your own wellbeing.

How can you deal with the stress?
It can feel unnatural to think about yourself when there are someone else’s needs to take care of however taking positive steps to look after yourself will reduce stress and make caring for someone more manageable:

1. Firstly, you may want to consider taking time out. Caring for a loved one can be an emotional and draining experience – and most carers report feeling guilty about taking a time out.
This shouldn’t be the case as some time away to think and refresh can make a positive difference. This can simply be just stepping out of the room or going to the local supermarket.
Take a deep breath and hold it for a count of three, then breathe out. Repeat again, until you feel more relaxed.
Also, don’t be afraid to admit that you need more time to yourself. Contact other members of your family to ask if they can take care of your loved one while you take some time off.
There also may be respite centres for where your loved one can go for a short period of time.

2. You may also find that changing your diet and incorporating exercise into your routine will help.
Eating well or exercising can be the last thing on your mind when caring for someone but finding the time to include this in your life can have a positive impact on both yourself and your loved one. For example:
- Try to eat meals with lots of fruit and vegetables. Using frozen veg and fruit in your meals can help save time and also making big batches of food is great for saving time in the future.
- Finding some time every week to do physical activity can help clear your head and reduce stress. Even going for a walk with your loved one can help. If you work, finding time on your lunch break to go out and exercise can be beneficial.
- Not sleeping well can make it difficult to concentrate on day-to-day activities. Eating well and exercise should help you sleep more regularly and you find that with caring for someone, you need to change your sleep routine i.e. getting four hours sleep twice a day instead of a full eight hours.

3. You may find that talking to a friend will be extremely beneficial – they may know about resources that can help you or have even been in a similar situation themselves. Talking to someone can be vital in helping to relieve stress and get things off your mind.

4. Considering relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness can all help you with the stress of being a carer. You can find local yoga clubs in most areas or even search for YouTube videos on meditation and yoga.

5. Arranging your day can really help at reducing stress. This can help at scheduling in key parts of your day, whether it’s taking the kids to school or cooking dinner. It can also help for keeping a track of your loved one’s appointments and needs.

6. Finally, it’s important that you are realistic. Those who care a loved one may have difficultly admitting they need help to meet their loved one’s needs.
You may want to make the person you care for better or take away the impact of their illness, and feel very upset that you can’t which can lead to stress, anxiety, and guilty.
Having a clear idea about what you can do, and accepting parts that you can’t change or do alone, helps to reduce this stress and can make you feel more able to cope.
Seeking extra support can mean that your loved one will have a better quality of life whilst also ensuring you get the respite you need.

Where can you go for additional support?
The charity, Mind, provides some excellent resources on how to cope with stress and how to take care of yourself as a carer.
Carers UK provides excellent advice and support to those caring for someone. It covers a wide variety of illnesses and an online forum where carers provide advice to each other.
The Alzheimer’s Society offers excellent advice to those caring for someone with dementia. There is information about how to take care of yourself, what to do when you need a break and where to go for more specialist support.
Or contact us at telmenow.com to learn about technology that can ease the stress of caring for a loved one.

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Jade Anderson

Content and PR Marketer

Email: jade.anderson@protelhealth.com


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