April is National Stress Awareness Month! When you’re caring for a loved one, especially for a prolonged period, you can be at risk for burnout due to constant stress. Caregivers are so often focused on their loved ones and their needs that it can be easy to forget to dedicate time to yourself and your own needs.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “Caregiver burnout is an example of how repeated exposure to stress harms mental and physical health. Chronic stress triggers a release of stress hormones in the body, which can lead to exhaustion, irritability, a weakened immune system, digestive distress, headaches, pains, and weight gain, especially in the midsection of the body.”
It’s important to take care of yourself too! All too often we forget that without filling up our cups, we can’t possibly pour ourselves into helping others. We are helping to promote the cause of Stress Awareness Month by sharing these tips for managing stress as a caregiver.
Take care of your physical health
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
Exercise regularly (utilize group fitness classes and other programs at a wellness center)
Maintain a normal routine
Prioritize getting enough sleep
Take care of your emotional and mental health
Connect socially by spending time with friends and loved ones to boost your mood
Give back to the community by volunteering (we at Paradigm Health value and love our volunteers!)
Don’t forget to take time for yourself, whether it means visiting a therapist, journaling, meditating, praying, or practicing mindfulness
Make time for a hobby or to do something you enjoy on a regular basis
Being a caregiver can be quite challenging, so don’t forget to take care of yourself! If you don’t have a support network that is physically nearby, you can also use social media to connect with other caregivers, friends, or loved ones.