Managing caregiving responsibilities can be stressful, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the scope of the job. If you start to fixate on your worries, you may be experiencing anxiety. Here are six ways to reduce caregiver anxiety.
1. Recognize Anxiety
It’s important to understand the difference between normal stress and unhealthy anxiety. When it comes to normal stress, you’re likely to feel relieved once the issue at hand has been resolved. If you’re experiencing anxiety, your stressful ruminations may become an ever-present part of your life. You can’t push away negative thoughts, and this preoccupation may start to manifest in other ways. Your ability to focus during the day and sleep soundly at night may diminish, and you might experience persistent muscle tension. If you think you’re experiencing anxiety, you should try some form of treatment.
Hiring a professional caregiver is a good way to take a break from your caregiving duties to focus on your own wellbeing. When considering home care, Lehigh Valley, PA, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
2. Get a Diagnosis
If your anxiety is persistent, schedule a visit with your primary care physician. After an evaluation, the doctor may give you a diagnosis for anxiety disorder and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
3. Explore Pharmacological Treatments
Primary care physicians and psychiatrists often prescribe anti-anxiety medications, and you may be directed to take some medicines daily or on an as-needed basis. Common anti-anxiety prescriptions include SSRIs like citalopram and fluoxetine, antihistamines like hydroxyzine, and benzodiazepines like alprazolam. If you have persistent anxiety, prescription medications may provide notable relief.
4. Consider Cognitive Therapy
Many caregivers have busy schedules, and it may be difficult to make a weekly therapy appointment. However, regular therapy can be highly effective, especially specialized treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is often prescribed for people with anxiety disorders, and it focuses on restructuring the behavioral patterns that exacerbate anxiety. The therapy can give you the tools you need to address anxious ruminations via relaxation techniques and behavioral modifications.
Taking regular breaks from your caregiving duties can help you lower your stress levels. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Lehigh Valley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Get Some Exercise
Persistent anxiety isn’t just caused by excess stress. It can also be caused by the inadequate release of neurotransmitters that regulate stress levels. Regular cardiovascular exercise can mitigate the effects of anxiety. Try to find a form of exercise you enjoy, whether it’s running, kickboxing, or spending 30 minutes on the elliptical, and do it on a weekly basis.
6. Practice Meditation
Meditation is another effective behavioral therapy for relieving anxiety. Many people with anxiety turn to mindfulness meditation, which helps them focus their attention on the present through breathing exercises and guided practice. The skills learned in mindfulness meditation can help caregivers break through the mental noise caused by anxiety. To practice meditation, you can download apps like HeadSpace and Calm.
Caring for older adults can be a difficult task, especially for stressed and overworked caregivers. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Lehigh Valley senior home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Call us at 484-350-3874 to schedule a free in-home consultation.