Chapter 2: As care needs increase
Managing stress and anxiety
It creates anxiety when you’re “on” all the time and have to be hypervigilant. You’re so tired; it’s terribly tiring.
While caregiving can be a rewarding experience, it can also affect the caregiver’s physical, financial, mental, and emotional health. Everyone feels stressed from time to time, but long or intense periods of stress can be extremely hard on your physical and mental health.
You may feel different levels of stress throughout the caregiving experience, and stress may increase as the person’s illness progresses.
Assess Your Stress Quiz
Click here to view a list of questions to help you assess your level of stress. Your answers today may be different than they will be two months from now, so come back to this module to retake this assessment.
What may helpEveryone copes with anxiety and stress in their own way. You may find that some of the following strategies work for you.
Anxiety can be a normal response to dealing with serious illness. Understanding the source of your anxiety can be a helpful first step in beginning to decrease it. What are you concerned about? Is it immediate, or can you take some time to plan and prepare? Is it within your control, or is it something you may need to adapt to or manage?
Seeking emotional support from trusted family and friends is important. You may not be comfortable sharing your feelings, thoughts, and fears with others, especially if you feel you want to “protect them.” However, people often say that it makes a difference when they are able to talk openly.
Relaxation strategies can help you shift your attention to the present and engage your body’s natural ability to calm itself. *For detailed information on relaxation strategies, please refer to the Relaxation strategies PDF below.