Dealing with Anxiety in Your Caregiver Journey

Dealing with Anxiety in Your Caregiver Journey

Caregivers in Cottonwood Heights UT

When you first started your caregiver journey with your elderly parents you were likely prepared to experience some level of stress. You knew that it would be a challenge to not only confront the need for your parents to receive care and assistance, but to fit the tasks of fulfilling those needs into your already-busy schedule. You may have even started putting preparations in place to ward off this stress and to prepare you for easing it once it does arise. What you might not have expected to experience was anxiety.

Feeling anxious is very common among caregivers, but it can be detrimental to how you feel and to how well you are able to fulfill your care tasks. A further issue with you experiencing anxiety is that the more anxious you are, and the more you express that anxiety, the more likely your parents are to feel anxious and experience issues related to that anxiety. This makes it especially important that you make dealing with your anxiety a focus of your caregiver journey.

Use these tips to help you cope with and relieve your anxiety in your caregiver journey:

• Be aware of it. This may seem simplistic, but the reality is that anxiety can be subtle at first and progress so gradually that it feels like your state of "normal" until it become overwhelming and a serious incident occurs. Take the time to evaluate honestly how you are feeling, what types of new or worsening symptoms you are experiencing, and how you are reacting to situations you encounter so you can catch your anxiety early and start addressing it.

• Do not let it frighten you. Anxiety is your body's natural way of telling you that you are in danger, but unfortunately it cannot tell if you are actually in physical danger or if you are just under a lot of stress and feeling overwhelmed. This means that you can start feeling physical symptoms that seem quite severe, such as shortness of breath, chest pains, and heart palpitations. Do not let these symptoms scare you. Focus on breathing, calming down, and bringing your body back under control.

• Have coping mechanisms ready. Whether you have noticed that your anxiety levels are high or just want to be prepared, learning coping mechanisms is a great way to feel more confident and be better able to control an anxious situation. Common coping mechanisms include relaxation techniques such as focused breathing and visualizations, using sensory conditioning to make you feel calm when you are exposed to a particular stimulus such as a favorite smell or flavor, and using regular journaling to let out your emotions and tension before they can turn into serious anxiety.

• Seek support. Caregiver support groups can be invaluable to maintaining good mental and emotional health, and making you feel confident in your care efforts. These support groups put you in contact with others who are going through the same things that you are so you do not feel so alone and know that there are others who have overcome difficult situations you encounter so you the anxiety does not take over.

If you or an aging loved one are considering help for family caregivers in Cottonwood Heights, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.

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