How Caregivers can Spot Stress Early

Every day, a caregiver is faced with anxiety-inducing events. Living in proximity to such unpredictable and dire emergencies can take both a physical and mental toll. It is absolutely essential that caregivers familiarize themselves with their own personal limits, lest they may place their own health in jeopardy. Luckily, there’s a series of easily identifiable warning signs which can alert a caregiver that a break is needed. Below, we’ll examine a few of these crucial indicators, and suggest coping mechanisms to lighten your load.

Anxiety Attacks

The by-product of emotional overstimulation, anxiety attacks begin to occur when an individual feels cornered or emotionally confronted. Your mind is issuing you a direct order – disengage from this disruptive stimulus! Suddenly, you’re filled with the electric energy which accompanies a rush of panic.

The best strategy is to disengage yourself from your current activity, and take a ten minute break. Use this time to eat a small snack and drink a glass of water. If you’re feeling tempted to speak unkindly or out of irritation, contact a friend or loved one and arrange to see them after your shift is over. This will give your mind something to focus on other than your immediate environment. Now you can save your comments for after work, when you can speak freely without creating undue stress with your client. By stepping back and evaluating your frustration, you’ll likely have a much easier gauging a rational and productive response.

Irregular Meals

It begins as a symptom of exhaustion. We skip a meal in favour of falling asleep, or overeat after falling behind by a meal or two. It all has a chaotic effect on your body, which regulates itself according to your daily routine. Combine this concern with the nutritional deficits which are caused by an inconsistent diet, and you’ve just created a recipe for emotional difficulty and increased stress.

If allowed to continue for a prolonged period of time, irregular meals can contribute to an onset of depression, sleep disorders, and a diminished ability to regulate one’s emotions. Happily, this issue is rather simple to remedy. Establish a dining schedule, and make sticking to it a priority. This should significantly brighten your mood and diminish unpredictable bouts of exhaustion.

Finally, remember that it’s normal to experience moments of emotional duress while at work. Caregiving may be a challenging profession, but it’s also a courageous and admirable career path. By assisting our elders through their daily challenges, the caregiver’s actions create an immediate and observable improvement in a senior’s life – and that is quite a wonderful and valuable contribution to our society.

Josh Byer is an author, blogger, and copywriter residing in Vancouver, BC. His article appears courtesy of,a complimentary retirement resource for Canadian seniors.

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