when caregivers need care

Over 20% of the population is caring for an aging, or ill loved one, a special needs child, or even both! The toll caregiving can take on the caregiver physically and psychologically can be very high.

Caregivers often put the needs of others over their own. Family time is often sacrificed. Work can suffer. Poor physical self-care (eating poorly, lack of exercise, and poor sleep) is common.

We’re oversimplifying what caregivers go through, but let’s face it…the stress of caregiving can be intense and seemingly never-ending and lead to depression, anxiety, burnout, and other mental health concerns.

If you struggle as a caregiver, know you’re not alone!

caring for caregivers

caregiving can be incredibly fulfilling, but it can take a toll

Caregiving can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you ever do, but over time, it can take a toll on you physically and emotionally.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you depressed (sad, tearful, angry, irritable)?
  • Do you feel guilty when stepping away from your caregiving responsibilities?
  • Do you have frequent thoughts about your loved one when away from them?
  • Are you sleeping too much or not enough?
  • Are you tired all of the time?
  • Do you feel stressed more than anything else?
  • Do you have difficulty staying focused?
  • Do you frequently feel anxious about your loved one or your responsibilities outside of caregivng?
  • Do you find yourself projecting into the future about events or possibilities that are out of your control?
  • Are you incapable of relaxing or unwinding?
  • Are your relationships with others suffering?
  • Has the thought of suicide ever crossed your mind?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may want to take a moment to assess your situation and look for support, such as therapy.

“never underestimate
your problem or your ability
to deal with it”

– Robert H. Schuller

take care of yourself – you’re the only “you” you have

caregiver support

Being a caregiver can be a lot, and it’s often a role women are thrust into without having time to prepare. The initial “jolt” you may experience can be emotional, as you may witness the decline of a parent, sibling, or close friend. If the role you take on spans an extended period, it can be tough to find balance physically and emotionally in the form of depression and anxiety.

Here are some things you can do to help yourself:

  • talk it out – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has proven to be a powerful tool in helping caregivers manage the emotional toll of caregiving, such as depression and anxiety. CBT is a form of psychotherapy, and in as little as eight weeks, you can learn how your thoughts affect your mood and behavior. Over time and with practice, you can begin recognizing the thoughts contributing to your depression or anxiety and develop skills to manage your emotions. Can’t make the time to see a therapist? TeleVisits are the next best thing; you can have them anywhere.
  • exercise – Taking a walk. Doing yoga or maybe something a little more strenuous. Anything you can do to move your body can help you physically and emotionally. Finding the time can be tricky, but Certus Psychiatry developed a Well-Being Program that includes a fitness component with numerous exercise videos you can follow at home. This free program is available to anyone and includes a wealth of information about therapy, eating right, and more.
  • eat right – When pressed for time, eating well can often fall by the wayside. The truth is poor nutrition can and does impact your emotional well-being, not to mention your weight. The Certus Well-Being Program is a great place to develop better-eating habits. Click here to begin discovering the program’s benefits.

caregiver resources

Always remember, you’re not alone as much as it may feel like it. The following is a list of resources to help you through your caregiving journey:

There are also numerous podcasts available that you can listen to on-the-go. Search “caregiving” on your preferred podcast platform.

getting help

caregiving is a journey –
it’s okay to ask for help along the way

At any given time, you may feel alone, isolated, and like there is no way out. The truth is you are not alone. Tens of millions of women are caregivers. There is no shame in getting help. In fact, taking care of yourself emotionally and physically are the two greatest gifts you can give to yourself. All you have to do is ask!

find recovery & balance here