Taking the Stress out of Caring
– start living, stop stressing…..
I carried out a survey with Carers Link East Dunbartonshire and stress being such a big problem for carers, I thought that I would revisit the causes of stress for carers from the survey. The numbers of carers in the UK are rising and there are nearly 7 million recorded.
The training I have carried out since the survey has found similar causes of stress and it never gets any easier for a carer. So often they do not think of themselves but of the loved one who they care for.
I started a blog on happiness at home and at work which I hope will be of interest to carers whether working or not.
This article is for carers and those who are not carers but the main aim is that you will enjoy it and find it more positive even when, at times, you certainly do not feel positive.
Under pressure – what pressure?
When we find pressure comes to a certain point and we are unable to cope, this is when stress can impact on our overall health and wellbeing.
You have no time to speak to anyone, can’t do anything, not prepared to change, just leave me alone and you do not understand. These are many statements from carers but it is now time to stop having that approach and think of YOU.
YOU are the important one as you must be fit and well to continue caring, so how on earth can you manage to do that.
I like this quote from Hillary Clinton
“I used to sit on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and wonder why the Senate was always going into recess, until in my first year I realized how intense the pressure was”.
How did you become a carer?
It could be due to parents being elderly, a mother, father, brother, sister or it could be because of an accident, illness or from birth. No matter how you have become a carer, it is a role out of dedication, and often no thought for your own feelings. You may be working and now beginning to wonder should you be full-time or give up work entirely. Not an easy decision, but one you need to take time over as you also need to consider yourself and the impact of not working could have. Sometimes, it is an idea to try reduced hours for a temporary period and see how you get on.
You may be a young carer and looking after a parent or sibling and this has so many pressures, juggling possibly school or college and trying to find time to carry out their studies or even starting in a new job.
You will feel an obligation and a sense of duty to care and often wonder what others think, but it is time to be thinking of how you are actually feeling when under all these pressures.
With your day possibly starting early, it will include some or all of the following:
Assisting with showering, bathing and getting dressed
Buying and preparing food
Cooking and maybe helping with feeding
Managing and juggling care including getting some help
Dealing with bills and finances
Travelling more than you would normally
Long days giving assistance
Looking after your family and yourself plus caring
Because of such commitments, you will find that there is so little time for yourself and you may feel that no one can or will help you. So it is at this point, to think what you can actually do to help improve your situation which can be frustrating, irritating, conflicting, controlling, commitment and so many other feeling that you will have.
Think about how you feel and write down what you can control just now, what you have no control over and what you can and will change. This is taking a proactive approach to feeling under pressure which leads to a considerable amount of stress for you.
Change is a big, big step for carers and so often carers do not think they can change anything and feel absolutely helpless. Well if you think like that it will, so it is now time to change your current situation. Try the activity below and focus very much on what you can change even if it is only one thing at a time.
Try one change today even a very small one……..
If you are having trouble sleeping try some of the tips here
Goals help us be more motivated and help us focus on what is important to achieve. They can have a positive effect on our performance helping us to be more confident and raise our self-esteem.
Research has shown that people are very likely to stick to a plan if they have identified their own goals. A goal may be a short, medium or long-term one and can be from one week, one month to three months and then six months and a year. The best thing is to take one small step at a time. Read more
What I can control
What I can’t control
What I will change
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