Ask For Caregiving Help
Taking on all of the responsibilities of caregiving without regular breaks or assistance is a surefire recipe for caregiver burnout. Dont try to do it all alone.
Look into respite care. Enlist friends and family who live near you to run errands, bring a hot meal, or watch the patient so you can take a well-deserved break. Volunteers or paid help can also provide in-home services, either occasionally or on a regular basis. Or you can explore out-of-home respite programs such as adult day care centers and nursing homes.
Speak up. Dont expect friends and family members to automatically know what you need or how youre feeling. Be up front about whats going on with you and the person that youre caring for. If you have concerns or thoughts about how to improve the situation, express them, even if youre unsure of how theyll be received. Start a dialogue.
Spread the responsibility. Try to get as many family members involved as possible. Even someone who lives far away can help. You may also want to divide up caregiving tasks. One person can take care of medical responsibilities, another with finances and bills, and another with groceries and errands, for example.
Set up a regular check-in. Ask a family member, friend, or volunteer from your church or senior center to call you at a regular time . This person can help you spread status updates and coordinate with other family members.
Caring For Elderly Family Members
If you need to move an elderly parent into your home, there will be challenges and adjustments involved. In addition to meeting your children’s needs, you have your parent’s day to day needs to attend to. Things you can do to help with this transition are:
- Establish household rules and expectations with your parent. For example, be sure to tell them what your rules are for the kids and that your parent is expected to honor these rules.
- Establish everyone’s personal space that is to be respected.
- Evaluate your budget to see if you can get a nurse who comes to the home.
- Delegate some tasks to your kids such as giving your teenager the responsibility of making sure that grandma takes her blood pressure medication daily.
- Enjoy the time you get to spend with your parent or in-law toward the end of their life.
Get The Appreciation You Need
Feeling appreciated can go a long way toward not only accepting a stressful situation, but enjoying life more. Studies show that caregivers who feel appreciated experience greater physical and emotional health. Caregiving actually makes them happier and healthier, despite its demands. But what can you do if the person youre caring for is no longer able to feel or show their appreciation for your time and efforts?
Imagine how your loved one would respond if they were healthy. If they werent preoccupied with illness or pain , how would your loved one feel about the love and care youre giving? Remind yourself that the person would express gratitude if they were able.
Applaud your own efforts. If youre not getting external validation, find ways to acknowledge and reward yourself. Remind yourself of how much you are helping. If you need something more concrete, try making a list of all the ways your caregiving is making a difference. Refer back to it when you start to feel low.
Talk to a supportive family member or friend. Positive reinforcement doesnt have to come from the person youre caring for. When youre feeling unappreciated, turn to friends and family who will listen to you and acknowledge your efforts.
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Use Questions To Make Them Aware Of Their Behavior
Sometimes toxic people are unaware of how their words and actions hurt others. You can use questions to subtly point out the negative aspects of their behavior. This inquisitiveness will force your family member to confront the impact of their actions.
Try asking questions like Do you know that youre hurting my feelings? or Do you think your criticism helps make the situation better?
You can also use this method to avoid answering their critical and demeaning questions. Instead of providing an answer, ask another question to divert the conversation away from the topic that bothers you.
Focus On Healthy Communication
Conflict is virtually inevitable in any relationship, but there are healthy ways of dealing with it. For instance, if you know that you and your family member disagree over religion or politics, try to stick to more neutral topics. Likewise, if your family member has some negative traits that really rub you the wrong way, focus on the positives instead.
Listening and being empathetic whenever you can is especially important as well. But don’t be a doormat either. It’s fine to be assertive and let family members know when they have crossed a line.
And, if the conversation is spiraling out of control, know when to take a timeout. With a little hard work, you may be able to have a respectful conversation with your family members, even when you don’t see eye to eye.
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Leave Stress At The Door
You do a good job of keeping a happy face at work, but maybe when you come home, you let your family have it. You may be inadvertently taking out your stress on your family and doing harm without realizing it.
If youve just ended a particularly stressful workday, pause before you walk through your door at night. Do some deep breathing or listen to some calming music. This helps get you in a better mood before you see your partner and children. They will thank you for not coming unglued.
Stress Trigger: Money Troubles
When you’re stressed about finances, your kids can be, too. Maybe it’s because they are missing extras like movies or new shoes — but for younger kids, it just may be that they sense something’s wrong.
For relief: Be open about day-to-day concerns, but stay upbeat: An out-of-town vacation won’t happen this year, but let’s plan something fun around here. Let them know things are going to be OK in the long run.
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Build A Healthy Support System
No matter which methods you use to confront your toxic relationship, make sure you have a strong support system of outside friends or family. Dealing with someone elses negativity is stressful. You should have at least one person you can turn to for advice without fearing negative feedback from them.
You Think Youre Not Good Enough When Youre Around Them
You might feel really down about your current situation if a family member constantly critiques your lifestyle choices. Jealousy might also sink in if your sibling or cousin is doing better than you in the eyes of your extended family. Walking away from a family gathering feeling like youre not good enough is dangerous to your mental health and could cause serious depression.
Remind yourself before entering a family gathering that youre happy with your place in life. Give yourself a pep talk and make sure you have a good friend on-call that can lift your spirits if the fam brings you down. You cant compare yourself to others, and if your family is comparing you to cousins or siblings, then thats their problem. You have to do things at your own pace.
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My Family Stresses Me Out: Cut Back On Family Conflict And Stress By Prioritizing Time Alone And Communicating Openly
Family conflict and stress is, well, distressing. While its normal to fight with our loved onesespecially the family members we see and talk to regularlywithstanding and working through these conflicts is far from easy. Not to mention that the impact of stress on families is damaging, both in the short and the long-term.
While we can learn to better navigate and resolve conflicts with our loved ones, there is another solution to the problem at hand: Be proactive in reducing family conflict and stress from the get-go. This is particularly important in the era of COVID, as many of us are finding ourselves easily annoyed, angered, and aggravated by the people in our household. Which is completely fair: close proximity, heightened emotions, and forced time together is the perfect equation for family conflict and stress. But, we can find success in reducing family conflict and stress by 1) respecting and prioritizing time alone and 2) communicating openly.
Do Things You Enjoy As A Family
Bonding over shared interests or trying something new as a group can bring your family closer together. When you feel close to the people you love most, youll notice fewer symptoms of stress in yourself and your family as a whole. Getting out of the house for quality time can be just what your family needs to feel rejuvenated and establish fun family traditions you can enjoy for years to come.
Finding a work-life balance is usually the tricky part for modern families. In single-parent households or families with two working parents, it can be a challenge to find time to spend together between work, school, and other responsibilities.
If you have only a few minutes to spare each day, make it count. Head to the park with the kids, play a family board game, or read a story together before bed. When you do have a day to spend together, try to engage in family activities that are enjoyable to each family member. You might even consider taking turns choosing and planning for these types of family outings.
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Your Eating/sleeping Habits Have Changed
This sign is especially noticeable if youre living at home with your parents or extended family. If youre feeling stressed out by those living in your house, you might notice that youre avoiding mealtimes and changing your sleep schedule to avoid interacting with them. You could also be eating more to help you cope with the tension in the household.
Take note of these changes and work with yourself and your family to get back on a normal diet and schedule. Ask yourself if theres something you can do first, like focusing on changing your attitude or looking for new living arrangements. Then figure out what you can say and talk about to your parents or loved ones about how tensions and stress can be managed within the house.
Simple Stress Management: Five Tips
1. Think and talk positively Unhelpful thinking makes it harder to deal with stressful things for example, in a stressful situation you might think, Whats wrong with me? I cant get things together.
But you can change unhelpful thinking into helpful thinking and positive self-talk, which are good ways to deal with stress. They increase your positive feelings and your ability to cope with stressful situations.
To put realistic thinking and positive self-talk into action, try the following:
2. Focus on whats essential Stress often means youre trying to do too much, so try setting realistic goals for your day. You could also avoid taking on more than you can handle.
Making a plan and having some family routines can help you feel more on top of things and take your stress down a notch or two.
And if you have some large tasks to deal with, they might be more manageable if you break them down into smaller chunks. You might also think about asking for some help from family or friends.
3. Stay connected with others Talking things over with your partner or a friend can help you keep things in perspective.
Spending some time with friends can be a real help too. Even meeting for a quick coffee can be enough, because sharing worries can help you feel supported and better able to cope.
If you have limited time, connecting with other parents through social media or email can help you stay in touch with like-minded people.
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What Is Caregiver Burnout
While caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, it also involves many stressors. And since caregiving is often a long-term challenge, the emotional impact can snowball over time. You may face years or even decades of caregiving responsibilities. It can be particularly disheartening if you feel that youre in over your head, if theres no hope that your family member will get better, or if, despite your best efforts, their condition is gradually deteriorating.
If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mindeventually leading to burnout, a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. And when you get to that point, both you and the person youre caring for suffer.
Thats why taking care of yourself isnt a luxury, its a necessity. Cultivating your own emotional and physical well-being is just as important as making sure your family member gets to their doctors appointment or takes their medication on time.
Coping With Common Family Issues
Unfortunately, because family relationships are so complex, they’re not always easy to navigate. In fact, dealing with difficult family members is downright hard. And even though it may be better for your stress level and your health to eliminate strained relationships from your life, it’s not always that simple when the difficult people are related to you. To keep conflict at bay and reduce your stress level, check out these tips on dealing with common family issues.
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If You Are Looking For Ways To Cope With Stress Parentline Is Here To Support You
If you notice things are becoming difficult to manage, or that your stress levels are increasing, talking to a counsellor or your doctor about your options can help.
Our trained counsellors are here to listen and provide support, no matter what issue you may be struggling with. Give us a call on .
Not in QLD or NT? Check out our list of Parentline services in your state or territory.
Helping Children And Youth Cope With Stress
Children and youth often struggle with how to cope with stress. Youth can be particularly overwhelmed when their stress is connected to a traumatic eventlike a natural disaster, family loss, school shootings, or community violence. Parents, caregivers, and educators can take steps to provide stability and support that help young people feel better.
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Watch Your Tone And Volume
Sometimes family conflict and stress spike not because of what we say, but how we say it. Be intentional about speaking to family memberseven when youre tired or upsetwith a calm, respectful tone. It is possible to say hard things, but not say them in a harsh way. So when you feel your anxiety rising in a particular moment, take a deep breath and try to say what needs to be said in a fashion that addresses the issue without ratcheting up the level of conflict. Sometimes moms forget that a little kindness goes a long way. If thats you, take iMOMs 30 Day Kindness Challenge. The rest of the house will follow suit.
Tips On How To Deal With Family Stress
Lead by Example Just because your family does not respect or acknowledge the person youve become doesnt mean that you are not that person. See them for who they are, and not for what theyve done to you.
KNOW That Its Not About You Taking things personally will lead you to the fast track of frustration. If your cousin calls you a conceited, pretentious so-and-so, know that their perception and their mental state has nothing to do with you.
Remain Grateful Your family dynamic may not be ideal, but at least you have family. Dont get caught up in the quarrels or side-eye glances, and remember what really matters and why times like these are so meaningful because they dont last forever.
Changing your focus to one of gratitude and appreciation will change your experience. By no means will it be easy, but it will be worth it. In addition to leading by example, knowing that it was not about me, and remaining grateful, I had this quote in my head by George Burns: Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
My final tip on how to deal with family stress during the holidays is to find humor in the situation and dont take things so seriously. You are the only person who needs to change for you to enjoy and celebrate the holidays with family.
How have you dealt with troubling family matters during the holidays? Please comment and share this with those you may know who are dreading Christmas with family.
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How To Deal With Familial Stress While Sober
by Jillian Ponek | Oct 24, 2021 |
Everyone reaches a point at least once in their lives where they think My family stresses me out. For most of us, that means taking a break from family gatherings for a while or re-establishing boundaries you set that are now being disregarded. However, for people recovering from substance abuse, familial stress, especially around the upcoming holidays, can be even more difficult to deal with.
Host Celebrations At Your House
If the stress of traveling each year is more than you’d like to handle, you may want to have family over to your home for the holidays. This is also a good solution when you have too many groups or relatives to take turns seeing: invite everyone to celebrate together, and you will get to see everyone more often.
While hosting the celebration at your home may not work in every situation, it can help to build bonds between groups of relatives that may not know one another very well.
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