On Monday, we gave you an introduction to caregiver stress, outlining some statistics behind caregiver depression and anxiety, why it occurs, and the effects of poor mental health.
As a caregiver, you spend much of your time caring for others a very important and noble passion. But as we mentioned, taking proper care of yourself is also an essential part of caring for others. Your health, mental and physical, is vital to ensuring that you have the ability to continue caring for others without making any unnecessary sacrifices.
As such, it is important to do all you can to prevent it, and in order to do that, you must have an understanding of when you might fall prey to caregiver stress.
For part two of our series, we’re going to outline a few indicators that you may be suffering from caregiver stress. Take a look below:
Physical signs are often the first indicators that people notice when it comes to caregiver stress. Below we’ve outlined a few to be wary of:
- Difficulty sleeping. Difficulty sleeping is often a sign of caregiver stress because you find yourself worrying too much about your loved one or patient, preventing you from getting a proper night’s rest. As a result, you may find it difficult to do tasks that you would normally have the energy to do. Alternatively, you may find yourself sleeping too much. In this instance, you may only be awake for the bare minimum of time you need to care for your loved one, thus neglecting other essential activities of your day.
- Weight fluctuations. Extreme weight fluctuation is also a sign of caregiver stress. This can be the result of eating too little or too much, as well as your body’s inability to properly metabolize foods due to high levels of fatigue.
- Chronic pain. Chronic pain such as headaches and body pains may also be a sign of stress.
Though harder to detect, there are several mental signs that show that you or a caregiver you know may be suffering from stress. Here are just a fews:
- Intense feelings of guilt. Caregivers who watch their patients or loved ones slowly decline in health often feel a sense of guilt that they aren’t doing their best. While these feelings are perfectly normal to some degree, it is when these feelings begin to overtake and interrupt the daily care of their own lives as well as the patient’s that they become a problem.
- Outbursts. Overreactions are another sign of stress. If you find yourself having emotional outbursts or intense feelings of anger or sadness that are sudden and feel unwarranted, this may be a sign that you are stressed.
- Lethargy. Similar to the effects of sleep problems, you may also find yourself lethargic and as a result, avoiding activities you once enjoyed or even daily activities that are beneficial if not necessary for your health.
On Friday, we’ll round off our series by giving you several ways to help you fight caregiver stress. In the mean time, if you have any questions or concerns about the information we’ve discussed in this post/series, please feel free to give us a call.
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