- Frustrated and angry taking care of someone who often wanders away, needs constant supervision and is easily upset.
- Guilty because you think that you should be able to provide better care, despite all the other things that you have to do
- Lonely because all the time you spend caregiving has hurt your social life
- Exhausted when you go to bed at night
(The National Women’s Health Information Center. US Dept. of Health and Human Services.)
Questions to consider about managing your stress level:
- When I feel agitated, do I know how to quickly calm and soothe myself?
- Can I easily let go of my anger?
- Can I turn to others at work to help me calm down and feel better?
- When I come home at night, do I walk in the door feeling alert and relaxed?
- Am I seldom distracted or moody?
- Am I able to recognize upsets that others seem to be experiencing?
- Do I easily turn to friends or family members for a calming influence?
- When my energy is low, do I know how to boost it?
(The Language of Emotional Intelligence by Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.)
Stress related to caregiving is not to be taken lightly. Research indicates that acute and chronic levels of stress experienced by various types of caregivers can have a detrimental effect on the body. The body does not distinguish between physical and psychological threats or stress. This long-term exposure can lead to raised blood pressure, suppression of the immune system, increased risk of heart conditions and stoke, and accelerate the aging process in the body.
Some people have natural abilities to combat these impacts of stress—a natural ability to be resilient. The good news is that people are also capable of learning skills that can greatly influence their tolerance of stress and make positive impact on their well-being. Those who demonstrate resiliency while caring for others have the following qualities of the six elements of resiliency identified in the resiliency section.