Reduce Caregiver Stress
Caregiving can be challenging and the need to take care of yourself is essential
to avoid compassion fatigue and burnout.
Here are 7 steps to guide you in the creation of some goals
to help reduce your stress:
Step 1. Take a sheet of paper and write down the single best quality you have and the best quality your stroke survivor has. Then, keep it somewhere visible as a reminder of your strengths to help when the days are tough.
Step 2. Take this 10 minute Caregiver Survey to help identify the areas that you would most like to work on.
Step 3. The next step could be thought of as planting a garden. Your goal might be to grow beautiful sunflowers, but you must take the first steps of purchasing seeds, planting them in soil, watering them every day and then your flowers will grow and bloom.
After taking the survey and identifying your goals, brainstorm to find a goal to begin with, one that fits. Even though you might be excited or want to see change quickly, remember to select one goal at a time to work on. Don’t worry, you can switch the goal at anytime if it’s not working or if you want to change direction.
Step 4. Target a solution after brainstorming. What can you do what will bring you one step or even a half step closer to your ultimate goal? As excited as you are to see the changes in your life, remember that goals aren't met in one big step!
Step 5. Create momentum! Implement your solution gradually, a little at a time until your reach your goal. Make sure to reward and congratulate yourself for each step, remembering that every little movement forward brings you closer to your ultimate goal.
Step 6. From time to time, review your experiment to evaluate what is working then keep doing it or tweak it and try another idea. If you are having trouble coming up with small steps to your goal, brainstorm with a family member, friend or even a support group.
Step 7. Once you have met goal number one, celebrate and then go back to Step 3, pick your next goal and keep moving forward!
"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first,
the lesson afterward." - Chinese Proverb
Wisdom on How to Reduce or Manage Stress
from Fellow Caregivers
Find a mission
Look forward-stroke is not the end
Get out of bed and live life
Make a decision
Pray and have faith
Meet with friends
Eat healthy meals
Remember to breathe
Learn new skills
Learn more about stroke
Focus on one day at a time
Let things go
Understand the fears of the stroke survivor to help you cope
Smile and hug
Use positive self talk
Plan, prioritize, organize
Embrace your limits and work with them