If you are a working caregiver, you know what it’s like to be a nonstop juggler, trying to have a life while keeping some balance among responsibilities. Your caregiving role may be hard, even overwhelming, but there are steps you can take that may ease the burden.
See also: Need a break for caregiving?
Symptoms of Stress
Health: Many working caregivers report health problems, depression, lower productivity on the job, and lost time at work. If you are frequently distracted at work, emotionally drained, and physically exhausted, you are not alone. But do not ignore these symptoms. Recognizing them is the first step to finding solutions.
Relationships: You may also find that you have let your social relationships slide. Many working caregivers cut back on community involvement and spend less time with their own families. If this is happening to you, make every effort to rekindle friendships and reconnect with your community—for example, through church or another group. You will be better able to deal with stress if you have a support network.
Steps You Can Take
- Talk to your employer. Let your manager know your needs related to caregiving. Make it clear that you are committed to your job and want to find ways to remain productive.
- Resist isolation. Find support in and out of work. Join community caregiver groups for emotional support, and seek out local resources for help. Take advantage of resources, such as Lotsa Helping Hands, to coordinate caregiving tasks within your family and support network.
- Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. As often as you can, get enough sleep. Eat sensibly, use alcohol in moderation, and exercise. Take a break when the pressure gets too great, even if it’s just a hot bath or a short walk. Walking with a buddy can cover two needs at once—friendship and exercise.