Stress. This word has become a kind of catch-all for us over the past 20 years. What does it mean for us and our health? When we are under stress, our bodies have a fight or flight response to the situation which is causing that stress. The longer we stay in a stressful state or situation, the more wear and tear on our bodies. It’s that simple.
It’s one of the reasons we started Coastal Concierge. When someone takes on the roll of a primary caregiver for an ailing family member this can become a very stressful situation. Worrying constantly about the dangers of falling, being on constant alert for signs of a heart issue, never taking time for ourselves. Just keeping track of all the medications and when they should be taken can become a full time job. Sometimes the care giver can end up in worse shape than the one who requires the care.
What are some of the signs of chronic stress? If you find yourself getting stomach or back aches frequently when you have never been prone to them in the past, can be signs of stress. Headaches, trouble sleeping and nervousness are also indications that stress is affecting your health. Often times a feeling of sheer exhaustion can be overwhelming for caregivers.
The good news is there are things you can do to help manage stress. For most people, a short break from care giving duties to take a walk, have lunch with friends, or go to a movie, can help. Asking for some help. People get reluctant to ask for help, they think it’s a sign of weakness, when the exact opposite may be true. When you have the strength to reach out and say, I need a little help, that gives other family members permission to step in and share part of the burden for care taking.
Our service can be useful for a full time care situation, or perhaps you just need a little time a few days a week, and we can help with that as well. Don’t take your health for granted or you will be the one who needs a caregiver. Eat good food, stay away from sugary snacks and get fresh air. Don’t forget time with your family and friends.