Are you one of over 8 million Canadians who provide care to a family member or friend? While most family caregivers describe this responsibility as a rewarding experience, many also report feeling stressed, overwhelmed, tired and anxious. Finding ways to reduce your stress is important to prevent caregiver burnout and help both you and your loved one feel as happy and well cared for as possible.
Nobody should go through their caregiving journey alone. Reaching out to others can reduce both your workload and emotional burden. If some family members are providing more care or support than others, try having a family meeting to come up with a better solution. Reaching out beyond the family to friends or neighbours may feel difficult, but many people are often quite willing to lend a hand. Professional homecare services can supplement the care you provide, whether it’s to be there while you’re at work or just a few hours of respite care so you can have a break.
Set Realistic Goals for Yourself
Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated and accountable, but it’s best to start small if you want to succeed. If you find it hard to incorporate self-care into your routine, try starting with small goals like going to bed 15 minutes earlier or going for a short walk twice a week.
Get Connected With Your Community
You may not know about them yet, but there are many community resources available for caregivers. Take the time to learn about supports available in your area to for you and your family member such as support groups, recreation programs, wellness supports and respite care services. If you’re unsure what’s available, talking with you or your loved one’s healthcare providers can be a great starting point.
Whether your time as a family caregiver is just a few weeks or over many years, finding ways to reduce your stress is important. If you want to prevent caregiver burnout, taking these tips and using them in your daily life is a great place to start.