How to Manage Stress as a Caregiver

If you are a caregiver, then you are probably familiar with stress. We know it can be very difficult to take care of someone, especially if the person is reliant on you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The good news is there are ways to manage your stress. Here are 4 tips that can help.


Exercise helps in so many ways. We all know it’s good for us to move our bodies, we just have to do it. Choose something that is realistic for you in your life. Make goals that are achievable for you. If you love running miles, make time for it! If you enjoy walking, take a 15 min walk to clear your head and get your body moving. Maybe stretching is all you can and want to do. DO IT! Just do something to regularly move. 


Guilt is an emotion that is often self-inflicted and usually undeserved. Find ways to shut that inner critic off. Shift your awareness to gratitude and actions so the negative thoughts are not bogging you down. Guilt creates stress because of your thoughts. The useless chatter only hinders your health. Shut it off. Evaluate what is really changeable in your situation to decrease your stress and focus on baby steps to make those shifts happen. 


Write things down. Make a plan. Create a schedule. Writing things down makes it easier to see the big picture as well as the detailed hour-by-hour plan if need be. Such perspective makes responsibilities easier to accept as well as plans easier to execute. These things will alleviate your mental load and reduce your stress level.


Find the support you need for whatever part of your life is weighing you down. Meal planning? Accounting? Repairs? Maybe it is a professional caregiver that takes your place a few times a week; aka respite care. Outsourcing your responsibilities is a fantastic way of alleviating unnecessary pressures. Learn to choose ease so that you can create peace for yourself, even if just for a little while. Getting some help is one of the best ways to manage stress.