Here at Northside we understand how stressful it can be at times when caring for a loved one and it doesn’t help when you have little time to leave the house. It is important to remember that you have to care for yourself as well. Stress can be detrimental to your health, both physically and mentally and it is important to identify the first signs of stress. Stress can lead to many different issues such as, difficulty sleeping, headaches, stomach aches, irritability, fatigue, anxiety and depression. Here are some tips to help you manage and deal with your stress to help you care for yourself as well as your loved one. If you feel your stress is completely overwhelming you, do not be afraid to contact Lifeline on 13 1114 for specialised support.
The first and probably most important step is to take advantage of all of the support resources available to you. There are many services here at Northside that can be easily utilised to help make your day easier. We are here to help and taking advantage of many of our services can help manage any stress you might have. We can transport your loved one to social events with wheelchair accessible vans to make your life easier and free up some time. We also have many engaging activities and social outings for your loved ones such as movies, museum outings and festivities such as the Easter Show with assistant carers to give you a break.
Engaging with others and socialising with friends and family can greatly help with managing stress and giving you some much needed time off. Picking up a relaxing and creative hobby can help immensely with reducing stress. Activities such as yoga, art viewings and gardening are great examples to do in your free time. Northside can help give you more free time by providing alternative care to your loved one and help with regular duties and everyday tasks while you relax and shed some stress with our respite programs.
Organising and Planning
If you have a chaotic schedule then you are going to have a lot of trouble trying to keep everything together and make room for yourself. This can be extremely difficult to do when you have a loved one to care for but it is important to try to maintain a light schedule you can follow to allow for me-time. Adding small social events like eating at your home with family or friends on particular nights can help you socialise and reach out to others to help reduce stress.
Avoid Bad Habits
Lastly, it is important to make sure you avoid developing any bad or potentially harmful habits in hopes of dealing with your stress. There are many ways to deal with stress, you must try your best to avoid those that are unhealthy. Bad habits can lead to both physical and mental issues even worse than the stress itself and must be stopped as soon as possible. Resorting to cigarettes, binge eating or drinking is extremely dangerous and can cause heart attacks and cancer. There are always better alternatives you can do at home such as exercise or yoga.
If you are still having trouble trying to think of some activities that you could fit into your busy day as a carer then here is a list of some potential activities and hobbies to help you relax.
Have a nice long bath, go on a bushwalk, listen to music with some hot tea, light some scented candles, grow some vegetables or herbs, start a journal or even your own book, cook some exotic dishes or bake a cake, try your hand at photography or painting.
By John Jeffery